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The Russia News

May 28, 2022 7:33 am

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Kyrgyzstan Votes On Constitutional Changes To Strengthen Presidency


Kyrgyzstan’s voters head to the polls on April 11 to decide on whether to approve a new constitution that would expand the power of the president and weaken parliament.

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275289 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


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“Russian elites” – Google News: Tupperville bridge work finished – Yahoo News Canada


Tupperville bridge work finished  Yahoo News Canada

6449096 “Russian elites” – Google News


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Voice of America – English: Religious Party Seeks Gains in Peru’s Legislative Elections


On the banks of the Amazon River, in a village without electricity or drinking water, Andrea Rodrigo makes the yuca flour that her family sells in markets along Peru’s remote borders with Brazil and Colombia.

The 21-year-old Peruvian woman and seven of her neighbors recently paddled for half an hour down the vast river to two Indigenous communities where they put up posters for their political party, the Agricultural People’s Front of Peru.

Known as Frepap, it is the political arm of a messianic religious group called the Israelites of the New Universal Pact, which merges Old Testament Christianity with Andean culture. Adherents believe their leader, Jonás Ataucusi Molina, is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and the Amazon is the promised land or the “land without evil,” leading the faithful to populate remote forests bordering Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Amid widespread disgust with traditional politicians and an extremely fragmented electorate, Frepap has emerged as a potential favorite in legislative elections Sunday, when Peruvians will also cast ballots for president. Observers say its surprising growth as a political force has to do with the roots it has put down and the proselytizing it has done in remote communities and poor neighborhoods, as well as weariness with seemingly endless corruption scandals among the establishment parties.

All of Peru’s former presidents since 1985 have been accused of corruption, with some imprisoned or arrested in their mansions and one taking his own life before police could capture him. Despite being prosecuted, one is currently running for president and another is seeking a seat in parliament. In the last 12 years, 57 former governors and 2,002 ex-mayors have been prosecuted or are fugitives. An official audit in 2019 found that corruption was consuming $17 million a day in Peru, enough to feed the country’s poor.

Members of the Israelites of the New Universal Pact religious group, arrive at a weekend market along the banks of  the Amazon…

Members of the Israelites of the New Universal Pact religious group arrive at a weekend market along the banks of the Amazon River, in Alto Monte de Israel, Peru, March 28, 2021.

“I would like to see more members of Congress from Frepap, teaching people not to steal,” Rodrigo said as she adjusted her hair covering. Hanging on the wall of her hut was a painting of a blue fish, the symbol of the party created in 1989 by the late shoemaker Ezequiel Ataucusi Gamonal, founder of the religious movement and father of its current leader.

In a January 2020 special election called after President Martin Vizcarra dissolved congress, Frepap stunned prognosticators by winning 15 of 130 seats to become the third largest bloc in the country’s fragmented legislature.

In the year since, Frepap has maintained its image as “separated from the scandals … and without attitudes that reflect religious fanaticism or radical conservatism,” said anthropologist Carlos Ráez, who has studied the party.

Polls suggest no single party may win even 10% of the legislative vote Sunday, and analysts say Frepap’s clean image and backing in distant or impoverished communities far away from media and pollsters could produce another electoral surprise. Almost one third of voters are undecided.

Frepap candidates appeal to voters with promises to fight for agricultural development, oppose corruption and defend the rights of the poor. They are staunch religious conservatives, opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.

On a recent day, Milca Copa, a teacher in a town near Rodrigo’s village, was one of three Frepap candidates who crossed the Amazon with a message for voters: She was one of them.

“I have walked in the mud, I have lived without water, without electricity, without internet,” Copa told supporters.

“Frepap does not come one day and leave,” she added, to applause and chants. “We live here.”

For more than 30 years, Israelite communities have popped up in the Amazon as the faithful migrated there from the Andes or desert areas along the Pacific, obeying their founder’s call to populate the rainforest. Many of the faithful live in Mariscal Ramon Castilla province, a forested area larger than Belgium and divided by the Amazon River near Colombia and Brazil.

The first people to join the Israelites of the New Universal Pact were poor Andean migrants, sometimes sick or orphaned, who had no contacts in the cities, experts say.

“They were drawn to the movement because it offered them a way to survive in communities, in agriculture,” said Juan Ossio, a professor of anthropology at Peru’s Pontifical Catholic University who has written a book about the Israelites.

Zairi Olivia, a member of the Israelites of the New Universal Pact religious group, lights a fire to cook dinner inside her…

Zairi Olivia, a member of the Israelites of the New Universal Pact religious group, lights a fire to cook dinner inside her house in Jose Carlos Mariategui, Peru, March 31, 2021.

Frepap’s political opponents say its members are united but also impenetrable, and express concerns about the messianic group’s rise on the political stage.

“They are very hard-working, very united, but very closed,” said Julio Tuesta, the Popular Action party mayor of San Jose de Cochiquinas, a village on the banks of the Amazon. “What makes me doubtful is that they mix religion and politics. What will it be like when they have more power?”

But Pablo Rodrigo, Andrea’s father, said the group’s political gains have won their people respect.

In the hamlet of Jose Carlos Mariategui, he and his neighbors grow rice, lettuce, coriander, tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapples, papayas and yucas. Several months ago he bought an electrical generator and a computer to draft community agreements.

“God says if you work, you will be flooded with bread,” Pablo Rodrigo said. “But if you are idle, you will be poor.”

It’s a humble but honorable life, he added: “We don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we live in peace.”

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4015160 Voice of America – English


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Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts


4015160 Voice of America – English


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Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts (2 Minute)


4015160 Voice of America – English


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Voice of America – English: Chad’s Veteran Leader Deby Targets Sixth Term in Presidential Vote


Voters in Chad head to the polls Sunday for a presidential election in which Idriss Deby is widely expected to extend his three-decade rule despite growing signs of popular discontent and opposition criticism over his handling of oil wealth. 

Deby, 68, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders and an ally of Western powers in the fight against Islamist militants in West and Central Africa. 

He seized power in 1990 in an armed rebellion, and in 2018 pushed through a new constitution that could let him stay in power until 2033, even as it reinstated term limits. 

Deby has relied on a firm grip over state institutions and one of the region’s most capable militaries to maintain power. He said recently he knew in advance that he would win again “as I have done for the last 30 years.” 

“Many of you, my daughters and sons, were not yet born when I took power in 1990,” he said Friday at his final campaign rally. “You have asked me to be a candidate for this sixth term.” 

Among Deby’s six rivals is former Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke, but several leading opponents are boycotting the race, including the 2016 runner-up Saleh Kebzabo, who has vowed to make Chad ungovernable if Deby wins. 

Several recent anti-government demonstrations in the capital, N’Djamena, have turned violent and there was a heavy military presence in the city Saturday. 

As soldiers patrolled the streets, municipal workers collected car tires and plastics that protesters could set on fire. 

Earlier this week, the authorities arrested several people, including at least one opposition leader, for what they said was a plot to assassinate politicians and bomb polling stations and the electoral commission headquarters. 

The opposition said the arrests showed mounting repression under Deby, whose government has also arrested scores of people ahead of the vote, according to Human Rights Watch. 

The government rejects allegations of human rights abuses. 

It has come under increasing public pressure over a flagging economy as low prices for the main export, oil, in recent years forced cutbacks in public spending and sparked labor strikes. 

Norbert Djimadoum, a N’Djamena resident, said he expected many people to express their dissatisfaction by staying home Sunday. 

“There won’t be a lot of enthusiasm at the polls tomorrow and that will be a victory for the start of change,” he said.

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4015160 Voice of America – English


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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Bishkek Police Chief Sacked, Officers Punished Over Kidnapped ‘Bride’ Killing In Kyrgyzstan


The police chief of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, has been sacked and dozens of other senior officers punished over the handling of a suspected murder-suicide that has mobilized public anger over the ongoing practice of “bride kidnapping.”

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275289 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


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“West Russia Putin” – Google News: MICHAEL BURLEIGH: Wounded Vladimir Putin turns up heat as aggression threatens to reignite conflict – Daily Mail


MICHAEL BURLEIGH: Wounded Vladimir Putin turns up heat as aggression threatens to reignite conflict  Daily Mail

6449178 “West Russia Putin” – Google News


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Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts


4015160 Voice of America – English


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Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts (2 Minute)


4015160 Voice of America – English