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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-08-21
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 ND-PASOK Dispute IntensifyingLast Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 16:57
Intensifying day after day is the dispute between ruling ND party and PASOK on the possibility of early elections on the grounds of election of President of the Republic. Government spokesman E. Antonaros has launched a fresh new attack against PASOK and its leader blaming them for violation of the Constitution and serious institutional lapse. On his part G. Papandreou in an article posted on PASOK website strongly criticizes the government and personally the Prime-minister on transparency issues, accusing them of covering up scandals which keep the country hostage, as he says. Mr. Antonaros launched a verbal attack against G. Papandreou, sparked by M. Hristoforakos case- describing the letter to former Siemens CEO lawyers' as legally unprecedented and politically precipitous move.
Political confrontation on the possibility of holding early elections on the grounds of election of President of the Republic and the Siemens case is kept high pitched. The government spokesman blamed PASOK and its leader for violation of the Constitution and serious institutional lapse. He warned that the government would not allow the country to enter into a prolonged pre-election period and would achieve with dedication to its work while he underlined that people recorded PASOK constitutional misdemeanors. He also described as endless talks about early elections that PASOK started.
Referring to Siemens, Mr. Antonaros described as very sad, politically precipitous and unprecedented in world judicial history Mr. Papandreou initiative to become his party's official interlocutor with a defendant sought by his country's justice. He also wondered whether he proceeded to this initiative because he had something to hide himself.
On his part G. Papandreou in an article posted on PASOK website strongly criticizes the government and personally the Prime-minister on transparency issues, accusing them of covering up scandals which keep the country hostage, as he says. He goes on to say that the Prime-minister proved lower to circumstances, is part of the problem and hostage of interests that keep him in his position. Mr. Papandreou repeats his proposals for deep reduction in election expenses, radical changes in the election system and division of large electoral districts. Furthermore, he speaks of transparent political party funding sources, posting on the Internet of decisions and supply auctions, exemplary punishment of ones who do not justify their assets on the grounds of objective criteria, new ministers' liability law.
Commenting GCP says: âND and PASOK apart from cover up and disorientation, they take advantage of the Siemens scandal to place political parties under the control of the state and businesses.â
News item: 26017
 Karzai Claims VictoryNews
Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 11:43
Electoral officials say the ballot counting is now over and the official result will be announced soon but warned against predicting the outcome. They say initial results suggest turnout was between 40 and 50%. The head of the campaign team for president Hamid Karzai said he had won an outright majority in Thursday's poll, making a second round run-off in October unnecessary. He, however, said that official results will be announced by the election committee.
The country's deputy chief electoral officer, Zekria Barakzai, called on candidates to be patient and await the official results.
Earlier upon announcement that counting of votes was over, the two leading contenders Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah for Afghanistan's presidential election have both claimed victory.
Taliban attacked a vehicle transporting counted votes in a province in north Afghanistan. The representative of the Electoral Committee was killed and the ballot boxes burned down.
According to Afghanistan government 9 civilians and 14 members of security forces were killed in a total of 135 attacks nationwide on election day.
The UN Security Council congratulated the Afghan people for their turn out in presidential and local elections and condemned the Taliban and Al Qaeda for their violent and terrorist acts.
Commenting on Afghan elections Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday "for all its warts," the election was a sign of progress. âThe democratic processâ¦ despite all its challenges, is remarkable."
Source: ÁNA, Reuters
Relevant Article: Afghanistan Elctions in mid of rocket attacks
News item: 25999