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BUDAPEST: Hungary’s top court struck down yesterday a new election law that critics say is a thinly veiled attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to tilt the system in his favour ahead of elections due in early 2014. The constitutional court ruled that a compulsory voter pre-registration procedure and other rules contained in the new law were “unconstitutional”, state news agency MTI reported. The law, passed in November with the government’s crushing two-thirds majority in parliament, would require voters to register no later than 15 days in advance of polling day in order to participate in elections.
Mali Islamists end ceasefire with govt
DAKAR: Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine said it has suspended a ceasefire it agreed with Mali’s government last month, accusing Bamako of making a mockery of peace talks by gearing up for war. Ansar Dine is one of the main armed groups controlling northern Mali’s vast desert since a rebellion in April that Western and regional powers fear could provide a haven for Islamist radicals to plot international attacks.
Seven dead in Nigeria fighting
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: Seven people were killed during an insurgent attack on government soldiers in northeast Nigeria, where security forces are fighting Islamist militants, the army said yesterday. At least 44 people have been killed in this restive region of Africa’s top oil producer over the last two weeks in clashes between fighters suspected of belonging to Islamist sect Boko Haram and security forces. “Gunmen attacked 21 brigade troops location at Marte. In the process, one soldier, one policeman and five gunmen lost their lives during an exchange of fire” on Wednesday, military spokesman Sagir Musa said.
France seeks to
grill Swiss shooter
GENEVA: French police investigating the murder of a British-Iraqi family in the Alps have asked to question a Swiss gunman who killed three women in his home village, Swiss police said yesterday. Police in the neighbouring French region of Haute-Savoie made the request to their colleagues in the Swiss canton of Valais, where on Wednesday the gunman went on a shooting spree, a police spokesman said. “French police in Haute-Savoie, who are wondering about a possible link between this killing and unsolved homicides in the region in recent years, made this request,” he said.
Canada PM to talk with hunger striker
OTTAWA: Canada’s prime minister agreed yesterday to talks with aboriginal leaders as a hunger strike by one native chief, demanding improvements to squalid living conditions on reserves, entered its fourth week. In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would take part in a “working meeting” with a delegation of aboriginal leaders on Friday.Agencies