Corbyn vows to force early UK election

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to British MPs in London in this file photo. (AFP)
Updated 24 June 2017

Corbyn vows to force early UK election

LONDON: British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to “try to force an early general election,” after Prime Minster Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority, in an interview published Saturday.
Corbyn’s Labour Party outperformed expectations in this month’s election, turning what was predicted to be a procession for May into a disaster, severely weakening her authority as Britain kicks off crucial Brexit talks.
Corbyn told the left-wing newspaper the Daily Mirror that it was “ludicrous” to believe the Conservatives’ minority government could survive, and that his party “will challenge this government at every step and try to force an early general election.”
A poll for the paper asking the public who would make the best prime minister has put Corbyn ahead for the first time, although other surveys have revealed little appetite for another vote after two tumultuous years for British voters.
May’s party is currently in negotiations with Northern Ireland’s DUP to secure an informal parliamentary deal that would give it an effective majority.
MPs will vote on May’s legislative agenda next week, and opposition parties have vowed to block her program in what is traditionally seen as a test of confidence in the government.
Members of May’s own party are reportedly lined up to dump their leader if it looks like her government will lose the vote.


Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

Updated 21 January 2020

Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

  • Ex-president says Taliban offer to reduce violence a ‘major development’

KABUL: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged President Ashraf Ghani to drop the pre-condition of cease-fire to begin talks with the Taliban amid high hope that the US and Taliban delegates will sign a deal following more than a year of secret discussions.

Speaking in an interview with BBC local service, Karzai said the government “should not block intra-Afghan dialogue under the pretext of cease-fire.” He said the Taliban offer for reduction in violence as the group says is nearing to ink the deal with American diplomats in Qatar, was a “major development.”

He said Ghani needed to accept the Taliban offer.

Ghani says truce is a must ahead of starting any negotiations with the Taliban calling reduction in violence a general term and arguing that such a call by the Taliban political leaders in Qatar only goes to show that they have control over field commanders back in Afghanistan.

The Taliban say the group will announce truce when the intra-Afghan dialogue begins which will happen after Washington sets timetable for withdrawal of the troops.

Washington at least on one occasion called off the talks with the Taliban in Qatar due to Taliban attacks back in Afghanistan as discussions continued in Qatar despite none of the warring sides having committed to halt offensives during the talks.

Ghani’s government has been sidelined from all rounds of talks between the Taliban delegates and US diplomats led by Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar. There has also been rift between Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with the president in the National Unity Government, on the pre-condition of cease-fire.

Unlike Ghani, Abdullah is happy with reduction of violence. Talking in a meeting of council of ministers, Abdullah on Monday indirectly said Ghani had taken the peace process in his monopoly.

 “Peace is not one person’s monopoly, one person’s wish — but it is a collective desire, and the people of Afghanistan have the right to take a position regarding the peace process,” said Abdullah.