A new outbreak of political violence in western Kenya resulted in at least 69 more deaths over the weekend despite the mediation efforts of ex-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan was meeting Sunday with opposition leader Raila Odinga to try to set up a new round of talks with President Mwai Kibaki to end the crisis that arose after the disputed Dec. 27 election. Results of a new opinion poll showed that only 51 percent of Kenyans believed Annan would be able to resolve the crisis. Above, a soldier kicks at a roadblock in the town of Naivasha.Skip to next paragraph
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Vocal Kremlin critic Mikhail Kasyanov was barred from running for president of Russia by the Central Election Commission Sunday. A spokesman repeated the assertion that tens of thousands of signatures on his nominating petitions were forged. Kasyanov was considered to have little hope ofupsetting incumbent Vladimir Putin's handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev. But analysts said the ruling likely will fuel criticism that the March 2 election is undemocratic.
Opinion polls in Italy showed that a sizable majority of voters want a new election after the collapse of Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government and that the rightist opposition would win back control of the upper house of parliament. Prodi resigned Thursday night after losing a vote of confidence in the Senate. President Giorgio Napolitano began meetings with key political leaders over the weekendon how to fend off pressure for a new election until parliament acts on a package of reforms.
Opposition leaders reacted angrily to the announcement that Zimbabwe's presidential and parliamentary elections will be held March 29. The Movement for Democratic Change called the announcement by President Robert Mugabe "an act of arrogance." The MDC has been in talks, mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki, to identify a mutually agreeable date while Mugabe's government was conducting a massive redistricting effort that has added 90 seats to parliament.