WORLD BRIEFS

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GHANA: An election under siege

John Dramani Mahama was declared the winner of the presidential election Sunday, despite technical glitches with the machines used to identify voters and protests by the opposition, which claims the vote was rigged. Tanks surrounded the electoral commission and police barricaded the road as the election body's chairman, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, announced that Mahama had polled 5.5 million votes, or 50.7 percent. Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, who lost the 2008 election by less than 1 percent, came in second with 5.2 million votes, or 47.7 percent, Afari-Gyan said. Around 80 percent of 14 million registered voters cast ballots Friday.


ROMANIA: Center-left regime victorious

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The center-left government won a clear victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections, according to exit polls. The result could inflame a personal rivalry between the nation's top two officials and bring yet more political upheaval. The prime minister's governing alliance had about 57 percent of seats in the 452-seat legislature, according to a poll published after elections. Second was a center-right group, allied to President Traian Basescu, which polled more than 18 percent. A populist party headed by a media tycoon won about 13 percent. Basescu and Victor Ponta are bitter rivals after the government tried to remove Basescu in an impeachment vote in July.


VENEZUELA: Chávez facing more surgery

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Hugo Chávez was heading back to Cuba on Sunday for a third cancer surgery after naming his vice president as his choice to lead the country if the illness cuts short his presidency. Chávez's announcement on Saturday night unleashed new uncertainty about the country's future, and his supporters poured into city plazas across the nation to pray for his recovery. Chávez acknowledged the seriousness of his health situation in a televised address, saying for the first time that if he suffers complications Vice President Nicolas Maduro should be elected to continue his socialist movement.

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