World Briefs: Split in Chile's ruling coalition ahead of vote

Split in Chile's ruling coalition ahead of vote

SANTIAGO • Chile's Christian Democrat Party has voted to skip primaries and go straight to the first round of the presidential election in November, rupturing the centre-left governing coalition and probably boosting chances of a victory for the right.

Delegates at the party's national assembly voted on Saturday with a 63 per cent majority for Ms Carolina Goic, 44, to compete directly in the election rather than pit herself against other candidates from the Nueva Mayoria coalition.


Iran leader dismisses Rouhani's detente role

LONDON • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday criticised President Hassan Rouhani for saying his detente policy with the West had caused the threat of war to fade.

Mr Rouhani, a pragmatist whose election in 2013 led to a diplomatic thaw between Iran and the West, championed in 2015 a deal in which Teheran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in return for lifting of international sanctions.

A stand-off between Mr Rouhani, who is seeking a second term, and Mr Khamenei's allies, who opposed the deal, has intensified ahead of the May 19 presidential vote.


Slovak MPs charged over hate speech

BRATISLAVA • Slovakian police said on Saturday they had charged two MPs from the far-right People's Party-Our Slovakia with extremism for hate speech against the Romany, the Jews and Islam.

If found guilty, they could face up to six years in prison, according to the penal code.

Stanislav Mizik is facing charges for publishing on a social network a list of "people of Jewish origin and admirers of Roma" among people who were given state honours by President Andrej Kiska earlier this year. Another lawmaker, Milan Mazurek, has said on social media that the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust had been "distorted".


Libya seizes 2 tankers in oil-smuggling bust

TRIPOLI • Libya has seized two foreign-flagged oil tankers and detained their crews for allegedly smuggling fuel after an hours-long gunbattle off the west coast.

The coast guard spotted the vessels last Thursday night 2km off Sidi Said near Zuwara, a town on the central coast.

Heavily armed, the alleged oil traffickers put up a fierce resistance, but the tankers were eventually seized by the Libyan authorities, "after more than three hours of exchange of fire", said the authorities.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe