ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Observers Say Kazakh Vote fell Short of International Standards


Kazakhstan Election: International observers say Kazakhstan's parliamentary elections failed to meet international standards, because of a lack of transparency during the vote count and a high threshold for entering parliament.
But the monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also said today (Sunday) that Saturday's vote was a step toward democracy.
The former Soviet republic has never held a vote that was internationally recognized as free and fair.
Election officials in Kazakhstan say the party of President Nursultan Nazarbayev has won a landslide 88 percent of the vote, leaving the opposition with no seats in parliament. Officials say voter turnout was about 65 percent.
Mr. Nazarbayev congratulated thousands of supporters early today for the turnout in the Central Asian country.

Thailand Referendum: Thailand's military-backed prime minister, Surayud Chulanot, is claiming victory in a public referendum on a new draft constitution.
Mr. Surayud declared victory after exit polls indicated 68 percent of voters approved the charter today (Sunday).
Speaking on national television shortly after polling stations closed, Mr. Surayud said he will submit the draft constitution to the king for approval by the end of the month.
The Election Committee has yet to release the official election results, which will indicate how many of Thailand's 45 million voters turned out for the referendum.
Political analysts say a low turnout would undermine the credibility of the government, and the military that oversees it.
Mr. Surayud has said if the military-backed constitution is approved, the government will hold general elections in December.

Iraq: Iraqi police say a mortar attack has killed 12 people in mainly Shi'ite eastern Baghdad.
They say today's (Sunday's) barrage wounded 31 people. Mortar attacks north of the capital Saturday killed seven people.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met Saturday with representatives of the country's Shi'ite Muslims, Sunni Arabs and Kurds in an attempt to revive national reconciliation efforts and to repair the divided government.
Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi attended the meeting, but was not persuaded to return his Iraqi Accordance Front party to the government.
The party withdrew earlier this month from the Cabinet of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Pakistan Violence: Pakistan's military says army helicopters pounded two militant hideouts near the Afghan border today (Sunday), killing 15 pro-Taleban militants.
A military spokesman (Major General Waheed Arshad) said the air raids were carried out because militants were conducting attacks from the two compounds near the town of Mir Ali in the North Waziristan tribal region.
Local officials say two women and two children were also killed when their home was bombed in the air raid.
Violence has increased in North Waziristan with militants conducting almost daily attacks on security forces, after tribal leaders pulled out of a peace deal with the government last month.
Pakistan has faced increasing international pressure to crack down on militants crossing into Afghanistan from the tribal regions.

Afghanistan Violence: NATO officials say a soldier with the International Security Assistance Force was killed today (Sunday) while escorting a convoy in southern Afghanistan.
NATO did not disclose the soldier's nationality or the exact location of the incident.
On Saturday, Afghan authorities said gunmen in Kabul kidnapped a German aid worker, while police in southern Afghanistan searched for four Afghan engineers abducted by militants.
Gunmen accosted the aid worker Saturday inside a restaurant, forced her into a waiting car and sped away.
The German woman was a member of the group Ora International, a small (non-denominational) Christian relief and development organization (involved in projects in about 30 countries worldwide).

Listen to our World News for details in Lao.


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