International news brief: Reformists gain in Bosnia elections; Haiti reports cholera deaths and more
Washington, Oct 03: Reformists who ran on fighting corruption and clientelism in public office appeared set to win an important race in Bosnia's elections Sunday that could give them greater sway over the direction of the country which has never fully recovered from its 1992-95 sectarian war and remains divided along ethnic lines.
The first preliminary results released by Bosnia's central election commission early Monday showed cooperation-prone contenders Denis Becirovic and Zeljko Komsic on course to win respective Bosniak and Croat seats in the tripartite presidency. However, the reformists were likely to be joined by Zeljka Cvijanovic from the strongest Bosnian Serb party - the secessionist and staunchly pro-Russian SNSD.
Moscow has often been accused by the West of seeking to destabilize the country and the rest of the Balkans through its Serb allies in the region, and the Sunday ballot was held amid growing fears the Kremlin might attempt to reignite the conflict in Bosnia to deflect attention from its campaign in Ukraine. '
The election included contests for the three members of Bosnia's shared, multiethnic presidency, the president of one of its two highly autonomous parts, and parliament deputies at different, in part overlapping, levels of governance.
Haiti reports cholera deaths for first time in 3 years
Haiti's government on Sunday announced that at least eight people have died from cholera, raising concerns about another potentially catastrophic epidemic like the one that broke out a decade ago and killed nearly 10,000 people.
The cases-the first cholera deaths reported in three years-came in a community called Dekayet in southern Port-au-Prince and in the seaside slum of Cite de Soleil, where thousands of people live in cramped, unsanitary conditions.
''Cholera is something that can spread very, very quickly,'' warned Laure Adrien, director general of Haiti's health ministry.
Stadium tragedy exposes Indonesia's troubled soccer history
Gaining the right to host next year's Under-20 World Cup was a major milestone in Indonesia's soccer development, raising hopes that a successful tournament would turn around long-standing problems that have blighted the sport in this country of 277 million people.
The death of at least 125 people at a league game between host Arema FC of East Java's Malang city and Persebaya Surabaya on Saturday is a tragic reminder, however, that Indonesia is one of the most dangerous countries in which to attend a game.
"Do remember that the FIFA U-20 World Cup will be the worldwide spotlight since the event will be joined by 24 countries from five continents," Indonesia's President Joko Widodo said last month as he pushed for thorough preparations for the tournament.
(with PTI inputs)