Source Pravda.Ru

German elections - 23 September, 2002

Gerhard Schroeder and Edmund Stoiber go into today’s legislative elections in Germany neck-and-neck. The postal votes of emigrants could win the day. On the table is Schroeder’s promise of more jobs, the second time round, and Stoiber’s claim of competence to handle the German economy.

Germany’s 61.2 million voters will choose their Chancellor today (Sunday) in the hottest elections the country has known. After Schroeder (PDS, Social Democrats, Centre-left) failed to deliver on his promise of “Work, work, work” at the last election, his main rival, Stoiber (CDU-CSU, Christian Democrats, Conservatives), played the “competence” trump card, but maybe too early. The flood factor may have helped Schroeder, who as Chancellor, had the lion’s share of media coverage during the country’s recent disaster.

The most recent opinion polls gave a slight advantage to Schroeder, by 38.5% to 39.5% against the 37% to 38% of voting intentions in favour of Stoiber. The flood factor might give Schroeder a new lease of life, but certainly it will be his last chance.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election

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