New Serbian leader may be familiar face
BELGRADE • Serbians voted for a new president yesterday, with conservative Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic the runaway favourite despite opposition warnings about the extent of his domination over the Balkan country.
Most polls see Mr Vucic, 47, winning in the first round, with more than 50 per cent of the vote. The role of president is largely ceremonial, but he is expected to retain real power through his control of Serbia's ruling Progressive Party.
Armenia holds first polls since reforms
YEREVAN • Armenians voted in landmark legislative elections yesterday for the first time since the adoption of constitutional reforms aimed at transforming the former Soviet country into a parliamentary republic.
The election is seen by the West as a key democratic test for the small landlocked nation of 2.9 million, which has no history of transfers of power to an opposition through the ballot box.
18 hurt at Paris bonfire event
BOBIGNY • Eighteen people were hurt, five of them seriously, when a bonfire effigy blew up at a carnival in Villepinte, north of Paris, last Saturday, emergency workers said.
The blast happened when organisers set fire to a wooden figure during a carnival after a traditional parade by local children. None of the 18 suffered life-threatening injuries.
London statue for suffrage activist
LONDON • A statue is to be erected outside the Houses of Parliament in London of a famous suffragist who led the campaign to win for British women the right to vote, the government announced yesterday.
Millicent Fawcett will be the first woman to be honoured with a statue in Parliament Square. Thousands supported a campaign for her to be remembered.