Connect with us

World

UK Election 2017 : May on verge to lose majority in British parliament, says Exit poll

Published

on

Theresa May

London, June 9 : UK Prime Minister Theresa May is on the verge to lose her overall majority in the ongoing British general election, according to an exit poll released as soon as voting finished Thursday night.

The poll, commissioned by Britain’s main broadcasters, showed May’s Conservatives would have 314 seats, losing 17 seats and the overall majority she had before the election. She needs to win at least 326 seats to claim an overall majority in the House of Commons, Xinhua reported.

May’s main rivals, Labour, would have 266 seats, according to the exit poll, which gave the first clue about the likely outcome of the snap general election called just a few weeks ago by May.

The minority Liberal Democrats would gain six seats to reach 14, the Scottish Nationalists will lose a third of their seats, getting 34, and the Greens would hold on to their single seat in Westminster.

It will be early hours Friday before the result is confirmed, but similar exit polls carried out at the previous two general elections in Britain came very close to predicting the results correctly.

In the 2015 general election, which came after five years of a general election between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, few polls predicted a majority win for then prime minister David Cameron.

The poll predicted not only would Cameron win, but also that his coalition partners since 2010, the Liberal Democrats would be massacred.

The 2015 exit poll predicted nine seats for the Lib Dems, and in the event they ended up with eight, losing around 50 MPs.

Counting of millions of votes started soon after ballot boxes were delivered to counting stations, with the first declarations likely before midnight.

The vast majority of results will be declared between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. local time, with May and her main rival, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, eagerly waiting to see which party, if any, crosses the 326-seat threshold. That is the number of seats needed to guarantee a majority in the 650-seat House of Commons.

Labour’s Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, said late Thursday night May should consider her position if the exit poll proves accurate.

Speaking on Sky news, Thornberry said: “I think she should go. I think we’re (Labour) on the verge of a great result.” Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also said he thought May’s position would be untenable on the result of the exit poll.

May’s expected losses come after the 100-plus wins predicted early on in the campaign.

In the run-up to the general election May had insisted that there would be no general election until the parliamentary term ended its five-year span in 2020.

She changed her mind, saying she wanted more support in her negotiations over the terms for Britain leaving the European Union.

Brexit, though, has not dominated the election campaign which was overshadowed by Britain’s worst terrorist strike since 2005, with the detonating of a bomb by a suicide bomber at the end of a concert by singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.

Then came a second attack on London Bridge by three terrorists who were shot and killed within minutes by armed police.

May’s manifesto also included controversial plans to cut heating allowances to pensioners and also reducing the guaranteed annual increase in their pensions. It also included a move that would see using the value of their homes to pay for care in their old age, dubbed by critics as the dementia tax.

The exit poll will also provide some comfort to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. At the start of the campaign a landslide of Labour losses had been predicted, weakening Corbyn’s role as leader. But in the final weeks of the campaign the gap between the two leaders narrowed. For Corbyn the gap was a bridge too far to cross, but it is likely to weaken the hand of his critics, including many of her own MPs, who have wanted him to go.

Political commentators are already saying May’s gamble in calling a snap election will turn out to be a disaster for her if the actual results reflect the exit poll.

IANS

World

Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving officially ends

Published

on

Saudi Women Driving

Riyadh, June 24 : Saudi women can legally get behind the wheel of a car for the first time Sunday as the Kingdom lifts its decades-old ban on women driving.

The change was announced last September and Saudi Arabia issued the first licences to women earlier this month, BBC reported on Sunday.

It was the only country left in the world where women could not drive and families had to hire private chauffeurs for female relatives.

However, the move comes amid an intensified crackdown on activists who campaigned for the right to drive.

At least eight women’s rights activists are being detained and could face trial in a counter-terrorism court and long prison sentences for their activism, human rights group Amnesty says.

They include Loujain al-Hathloul, a well-known figure in the campaign for women’s driving rights.

Amnesty has also called for wider reforms in Saudi Arabia, where women remain subject to male guardianship laws.

Human rights groups in the kingdom have campaigned for years to allow women to drive.

Dozens of women were arrested for driving in Riyadh in 1990 and some Saudi women began posting videos of themselves at the wheel in 2008, and between 2011 and 2014.

Thousands of women could soon take to the roads.

“It is a historic moment for every Saudi woman,” Saudi television presenter said.

She said she was behind the wheel minutes after the end of the driving ban at midnight local time (21:00 GMT Saturday).

“Those days of waiting long hours for a driver are over,” said pharmacy student Hatoun bin Dakhil, 21. “We no longer need a man.”

Continue Reading

World

President of Zimbabwe survives ‘assassination attempt’ in Bulawayo

Published

on

Cairo, June 24:Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has survived an assassination attempt when he was addressing thousands at his ruling ZANU-PF party election campaign rally in the city of Bulawayo on Saturday.

The Zimbabwean president said he narrowly survived an attempt on his life after a explosion at a party rally that injured two of his vice-presidents and several party officials.

He said an object “exploded a few inches away from me – but it is not my time”.

In a message on Twitter, Mnangagwa called the explosion a “senseless act of violence”.

“The campaign has been conducted in a free and peaceful environment, and we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections,” he wrote.

Egypt condemns attack

Egypt has condemned the attack on a rally of Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he was addressing an electoral campaign, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement on Saturday expressed Egypt’s solidarity “with the Zimbabwean government and people to achieve security and stability in the country”.

“Egypt is comfort with the failure of such a sinful attack and the survival of the Zimbabwean president,” said the statement.

Earlier on Saturday, Egypt condemned a failed attempt to “assassinate” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during a mass rally in the capital Addis Ababa, which left at least three people dead and more than 160 injured.

Continue Reading

World

South Korean former PM Kim Jong-pil dies at 92

Before becoming Prime Minister for the first time, the retired military leader and father of two created and ran the Korean Intelligence Agency and later headed the then ruling Democratic Republican Party.

Published

on

PM Kim Jong-pil

Seoul, June 23 (IANS) Former South Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil died here on Saturday at the age of 92 while being taken to a hospital.

Kim, considered among the most influential politicians in the country in previous decades, served as Prime Minister on two occasions, between 1971 and 1975, and between 1998 and 2000, Yonhap agency reported.

Born in 1926, Kim graduated from the Korea Military Academy and played an important role in the 1961 military coup led by former President Park Chung-hee, who ruled the country with an iron fist until his assassination in 1979.

Before becoming Prime Minister for the first time, the retired military leader and father of two created and ran the Korean Intelligence Agency and later headed the then ruling Democratic Republican Party.

Besides holding government posts, the influential and conservative politician served as lawmaker on nine occasions until his retirement in 2004.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular