Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mexicans will go to polls on Sunday

Mexicans will go to polls on Sunday to elect a new president, local governors and members of parliament
Mexicans will go to polls on Sunday to elect a new president, local governors and members of parliament.
Four candidates are running for the presidential office. According to independent public polls, Pena Nieto of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, the PRI, is the front-runner in the race. Various polls show him enjoying a lead of between 10 and 18 percent over his closest contender Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party.According to the official Eleccion 2012 Mexico online portal, however, Josefina Vazquez Mota of the governing conservative National Action Party (PAN) is the leader of the race, with a 1-percent advantage over Nieto.The other candidate, Gabriel Quadri of the tiny New Alliance Party, has been drawing single digits in the polls.

Incumbent President Felipe Calderon, who has been in power since 2006, is barred by the constitution from seeking a second term.The PRI, which has been in power in Mexico for almost 70 years from 1929 to 2000, is trying to regain the presidency after losing the last two elections to the PAN.

Nearly 80 million Mexicans are eligible to cast ballots in Sunday’s vote.
Some 31,400 monitors, including around 700 international observers, will monitor the polls, yet the fear of electoral fraud remains a constant worry.Besides the president, Mexicans will also elect 500 congressional deputies and 128 senators, as well as hundreds of local officials, including governors of six of Mexico's 31 states.

An action group comprising of world powers that met Saturday in Geneva has agreed upon a roadmap that ushered the way for a Syrian-led transition, to end the country's 16-months' long conflict.A joint communique after the meeting said that the global community wished to see "an end to the violence and human rights abuses" and that the Syrian people enjoyed rights to "independently and democratically determine their own future."

The meeting specified the steps and measures to secure full implementation of Special Envoy Kofi Annan's call for an immediate cease of violence in all forms.The key steps for transition, as the meeting concluded, include the establishment of a transitional governing body that includes members of the present government and the opposition, an inclusive national dialogue process, and a review of the current constitution and legal system.Once the new constitutional order is established, free and fair multi-party elections for new government offices will follow, the communique said.

Syria should give space to established and newly-emerging political actors to compete fairly and equally in elections."This also means that the commitment to multi-party democracy must be a lasting one, going beyond an initial round of elections," it said.The agreement was widely hailed as a major step forward toward resolving the crisis.British Foreign Secretary William Hague represented the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to welcome the outcome."I think the result is a step forward, it is only a step forward but it is a step forward that is worth having," he said.

Foreign ministers of the Security Council's five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - attended the meeting, along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and delegates from Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, the Arab League, and the European Union.Representatives of the Syrian government and opposition were absent.In his conclusion remarks to the meeting, Kofi Annan said the international community has taken its cooperation to a stronger level, by being clearer and more specific and therefore have laid out a path that the Syrian people can embrace and work with.

The special envoy at the same time cautioned about inaction that might destroy the fragile outcome.
"Today's words must not become tomorrow's disappointments," he warned, urging all relevant parties to start working immediately and calling for all Syrians to embrace what has been laid out and work together to stop the killing and build a better future.Though the agreement was built on more consensus and less divergence, some differences remain unabridged, in particular between Moscow and Washington.

The rift was apparent when the two countries both gave their own interpretation of what have been agreed just minutes after the endorsement of the communique.The United States still holds pressurizing and subsequently toppling the government led by President Bashar al-Assad as its primary objective.
"Assad will still have to go," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, plainly expressing the United States saw no room for the current president and government in and after the transition.
"The text also makes clear that the power to govern is rested fully in the transitional governing body which strips him (Assad) and his regime of all authority if he and they refuse to step down and leave," she said.

Russia, a long-time ally to Damascus, insisted that no changes should occur unless the Syrians first agreed, in other words, the process should be Syrian-led."We consider it to be of key importance that there is no attempt in the document to impose upon the Syrian side any kind of transition process," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.He stressed that the process should not exclude the participation of any group, as was written in the communique, denying preconditions to the transitional process and the national dialogue.

Leung Chun-ying commonly known as CY Leung, is born on 12 August 1954 was sworn in as Hong Kong's new chief executive Sunday. He is the Chief Executive of Hong Kong as  emerged  victorious in the 2012 Hong Kong Chief Executive election. He assumed office on 1 July 2012. an said after swearing on ceremony,"I vow to defend the Hong Kong... Basic Law," Leung said in Mandarin as he read out the oath before Chinese president Hu Jintao.

 Basic Law is Hong Kong's mini-constitution, which guarantees the former British colony civil liberties not seen in mainland China under the "one country, two systems" model set up when it returned to Chinese rule. 

The swearing-in came as Hong Kong marked the 15th anniversary of the handover and Hu was targeted by protestors demanding greater democracy,railing against Beijing's meddling in local affairs.

Hong Kong's new chief executive Leung Chun-ying Sunday said the new government will lead the city to develop the economy, improve people's livelihood, promote democracy and build a more prosperous, progressive and righteous society.Leung made the pledge in his inaugural speech delivered at the swearing-in ceremony of the fourth-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
 Leung was the Convenor of the Executive Council of Hong Kong till his resignation in September 2011.

A R Rahman to rock London Olympics

AR Rahman will be collaborating with  Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle for this segment of the show. Rahman tweeted, "It's a track in Punjabi, celebrating the Indian influence in the UK. It's a part of a medley in the Olympics opening ceremony, according to Danny Boyle's creative wishes!" Rahman music wizard has composed a special Punjabi number that will be showcased at the opening ceremony of the grand sporting event. 

Filmmaker Danny Boyle, who has worked with the Chennai composer on 127 Hours as well, is said to have planned a three-hour musical show that will feature various genres of music. He's taking active interest in putting together a big show for worldwide audiences, say sources.
Interestingly, it's also learnt that one of maestro Ilaiyaraaja's songs too reportedly features in the list for the opening ceremony of the upcoming London Olympics. The selected song is Naandhaan Ungappanda... from the 1981 film Ram Lakshman, starring Kamal Haasan and Sripriya.Media agencies

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...