Philippines’ Duterte threatens to expel European diplomats

Rodrigo Duterte
Updated 12 October 2017
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Philippines’ Duterte threatens to expel European diplomats

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened Thursday to expel European ambassadors, accusing their governments without citing evidence of plotting to get Manila expelled from the UN.
Duterte signalled in a fiery speech he would not tolerate European criticism of his drug war, which has seen police kill at least 3,850 people since he took office 15 months ago and led rights groups to warn of a potential crime against humanity.
Duterte accused the EU of interfering in the Philippines’ domestic affairs, and alleged it wanted to get the Philippines expelled from the UN.
“Just like that you tell us: ‘You will be excluded in the UN’. Son of a whore go ahead,” Duterte told reporters, adding European nations were taking advantage of the Philippines being poor.
“You give us money then you start to orchestrate what things should be done and which should not happen in our country. You bullshit. We are past the colonization stage. Don’t f*** with us.”
Duterte said he was prepared to kick European ambassadors out of the country if their governments tried to expel the Philippines.
“You think we are a bunch of morons here. You are the one. Now the ambassadors of those countries listening now, tell me, because we can have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours, all, all of you.”
The EU has made no public comments about wanting to remove the Philippines from the UN.
However, the EU Parliament issued a resolution last year expressing concern over the “extraordinarily high numbers killed during police operations” in the drug war.
It urged Duterte to “put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings.”
A statement released by EU delegation to the Philippines on Thursday night in response to Duterte’s comments sought to emphasize bilateral co-operation, including at the UN.
“The EU and the Philippines work constructively and productively together in a close partnership in many contexts and areas, including, of course, in the UN context,” the statement said.
Duterte’s spokesman was unavailable to comment on why the president believed the EU was looking to remove the Philippines from the UN.
The president’s aides have previously cautioned journalists not to take all of Duterte’s remarks literally, and that some of his most controversial statements were merely “hyperbole” or “rhetoric.”
Duterte won elections last year after vowing to eradicate the illegal drug trade in six months, and vowing that 100,000 people would be killed in the process.
Many Filipinos continue to support the crackdown but a survey last month showed the first major drop in Duterte’s popularity.


India’s Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

Updated 11 December 2018
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India’s Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

  • Analysts say a big loss for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party would signify rural dismay and help unite the opposition
  • Poll analysts cautioned that with the counting in preliminary stages, it was still too early to predict the outcome of state races involving millions of voters

NEW DELHI: India’s ruling party could lose power in three key states, four TV networks said on Tuesday, citing votecount leads, potentially handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014, and months ahead of a general election.
The main opposition Congress party could form governments in the central states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and in the western state of Rajasthan, all big heartland states that powered Modi to a landslide win in the 2014 general election.
Analysts say a big loss for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party would signify rural dismay and help unite the opposition, despite his high personal popularity in the face of criticism that he did not deliver on promises of jobs for young people and better conditions for farmers.
“We’ve all voted for Congress this time and our candidate is winning here,” said Bishnu Prasad Jalodia, a wheat grower in Madhya Pradesh, where it appears as if Congress might have to woo smaller parties to keep out Modi’s party.
“BJP ignored us farmers, they ignored those of us at the bottom of the pyramid.”
The elections are also a test for Rahul Gandhi, president of the left-of-center Congress, who is trying to forge a broad alliance with regional groups and face Modi with his most serious challenge yet, in the election that must be held by May.
In Rajasthan, the Congress was leading in 114 of the 199 seats contested, against 81 for the BJP, in the initial round of voting, India Today TV said.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress was ahead in 59 of the 90 seats at stake, with the BJP at 24. In Madhya Pradesh, the most important of the five states that held assembly elections over the past few weeks, Congress was ahead, with 112 of 230 seats. The Hindu nationalist BJP was at 103, the network said.
Three other TV channels also said Congress was leading in the three states, with regional parties leading in two smaller states that also voted, Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.
Poll analysts cautioned that with the counting in preliminary stages, it was still too early to predict the outcome of state races involving millions of voters.
Local issues usually dominate state polls, but politicians are seeing the elections as a pointer to the national vote just months away.
Indian markets recovered some ground after an early fall as the central bank governor’s unexpected resignation the previous day shocked investors.
The rupee currency dropped as much as 1.5 percent to 72.465 per dollar, while bond yields rose 12 basis points to 7.71 percent after the resignation of Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel.
The broader NSE share index was down 1.3 percent, with investors cautious ahead of the election results.
“As the three erstwhile BJP states have a large agrarian population, the BJP’s drubbing could be interpreted to mean that farm unrest is real,” Nomura said in a research note before the results.
“A rout of the BJP on its homeground states should encourage cohesion among the opposition parties to strengthen the non-BJP coalition for the general elections.”
Gandhi, the fourth generation scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, has sought to build a coalition of regional groups, some headed by experienced firebrand, ambitious politicians.
Congress has already said it would not name Gandhi, who is seen as lacking experience, as a prime ministerial candidate.
“When one and one become eleven, even the mighty can be dethroned,” opposition leader Akhilesh Yadav said of the prospect of growing opposition unity.