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(Moscow) — Vladimir Putin’s party won more than 60 percent of the vote with nearly half of precincts counted Sunday in a parliamentary election that could pave the way for him to remain the country’s leader even after he steps down as president.

The vote followed a tense Kremlin campaign that relied on a combination of persuasion and intimidation to ensure victory for Putin’s United Russia party.

With ballots from 47.1 percent of precincts counted, United Russia was leading with 63.2 percent, while the Communists — the only opposition party to win seats — trailed with 11.5 percent, the Central Election Commission said. Exit polls seemed to corroborate the early results.

The Kremlin has portrayed the election as a plebiscite on Putin’s nearly eight years as president — with the promise that a major victory would allow him somehow to remain the country’s leader after his second term ends next year.

Putin is constitutionally prohibited from running for a third consecutive term, but he clearly wants to stay in power. A movement has sprung up in recent weeks to urge him to become a “national leader,” though what duties and powers that would entail are unclear.

Source: Time Magazine

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LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Newly Africa-focused Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital has launched a stock index covering 11 markets in sub-Saharan Africa, reflecting growing interest in the region, the bank said on Wednesday.

The RC SSA 50 index is made up of 50 equities and represents 62 percent of the total market capitalisation of the domiciled sub-Saharan equity market, at $61.3 billion, Renaissance Capital, also known as RenCap, said in a statement.

The index covers equities in Botswana, the West African regional stock exchange Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Monetaires (BRVM), Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The base date of the index is Jan. 2, 2007, and the total dollar return of the index since inception is 39 percent, compared with a gain of 29 percent in the benchmark MSCI global emerging equity index, the bank said.

Investors have shown an increasing interest in Africa as they search for higher returns within emerging markets, but lack of liquidity remains a deterrent.

RenCap, a 12-year old firm with brokering, private equity and a $4.5 billion asset management business, told Reuters earlier this year it plans to double its $500 million investment into Africa by next year and aims to help African firms raise capital on global markets.

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Original article in Ukrainian by Tetyana Nikolayenko, UP

Translated by Eugene Ivantsov

The Party of Regions (PRU) has been persuading everyone that it won the election thus having the right to form a coalition. At that, the PRU MPs keep repeating that they received 2% more at this election.

However, the election results declared by the Central Election Commission (CEC) give cause for reflection: was it maybe Pyrrhic victory?

The Party of Regions

Considering the election outcome for the PRU percentagewise, the Donetsk-based party has indeed improved its result by 2%. But absolute figures are not so attractive.

If at last year’s election 8 148 745 voters supported the PRU, in 2007 the party received 8 013 918 votes.

Thus, the PRU has lost 135 000 votes. In fact, these losses could be even greater.

Nestor Shufrych and Inna Bohoslovska received positions in the top 5 of the party list not simply for their public speaking skills. Theoretically, they had to contribute to the election result of the PRU with the votes of their followers. Last year Viche and Ne Tak received almost 700 000 votes altogether.

Of course, all those 700 000 did not vote for the PRU at this election, but supporters of Mrs. Bohoslovska and SDPU are closer to the PRU than to the BYuT and Our Ukraine –People’s Self-Defense.

But PRU did not receive additional votes. Or maybe it did but these votes ‘mended’ holes in the PRU electoral support.

As compared with 2006, the PRU preserved its influence in western and southern regions. Moreover, Yanukovych and Co. managed to increase their popularity in the so-called ‘expansion zones’ covering central and western Ukraine.

Of course, they did not receive desirable surplus of 5-10%, but they coped with the task in Khmelnytsk and Cherkasy regions, and even in Zakarpattya where the PRU is traditionally unpopular.

The PRU received 4% more in Zaporizhya region. Most probably, these are the votes of Natalia Vitrenko who received 6.54% in Zaporizhya last year, having got only 1.71% this time.

At the same time, the PRU lost votes in its small Motherland – Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions. Mr. Yanukovych lost there130 600, 70 600 and 106 500 votes respectively.

The PRU may boast of its phenomenal election results (34%) but one cannot run away from figures. The number of supporters has reduced, and so has the number of seats in parliament (175 against 185).

Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc

In spite of Gallup Polls the BYuT receives more votes at the second election in a row. This time Yulia Tymoshenko received 30.7% having increased the number of her supporters by 1.5 million (5 652 876 in 2006 against 7 162 174 in 2007).

This year the BYuT won election in 16 regions while last year it was only 14.

This year the BYuT received the first position in Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv regions that used to contribute much to Our Ukraine last year’s victory in these regions.

In general, the BYuT increased its popularity in all regions. There is not a single region where the BYuT results got worse at least percentagewise. The BYuT scored the best results in Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne and Ternopil regions, receiving 15-20%.

The Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk remain problem regions for Yulia Tymoshenko.

Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense

Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense received 4 million votes less than the BYuT. But more importantly, this time 3 301 012 Ukraine’s citizens voted for the president’s party. It means that the united democratic forces received 238 000 votes less than Our Ukraine alone at the last year’s election (3 539 140).

NU-NS received less votes even despite personal popularity of Yuriy Lutsenko and despite the comeback of Ukrainian People’s Party and Mr. Karmazin who received about half million votes at the last parliamentary election.

If last year Our Ukraine celebrated victory in Zakarpattya, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, this time only Zakarpattya favored NU-NS.

NU-NS improved its results in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Cherkasy and Zakarpattya regions by 3-5%. At the same time, the bloc received 7-9% less in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions.

NU-NS received the third position in Zhytomyr region run by NU-NS member Yuriy Pavlenko. The president’s bloc was fifth in Zaporizhya region headed by Yevhen Chervonenko who was not included on the party list at this election.

In general, the results of NU-NS became worse in 12 regions.

The Communist Party of Ukraine

At the last election it seemed that Lenin’s followers were almost dead. But the Communists did not only manage to improve their last year’s results but they appeared the only left-wing force in parliament.

Calling to vote for the only left-wing political force with real chances of entering parliament, Petro Symonenko and Co. improved election results by 327 000 votes.

The Communist Party entered parliament due to traditional support of western regions, having received the second place in Luhansk and Sevastopol and the third position in the Crimea, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhya, Mykolayiv, Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

Lytvyn Bloc

The lucky beggar of this election Volodymyr Lytvyn received 304 000 votes more than last year. 924 568 Ukrainian citizens chose to vote for his bloc.

Volodymyr Lytvyn’s best results were in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zhytomyr regions.

The Socialist Party of Ukraine

SPU that failed the election this year had lost 776 000 voters during one year of Mr. Moroz’s speakership and participation in the Anticrisis Coalition. This year 668 185 Ukraine’s citizens voted for Mr. Moroz’s party.

SPU appears outside the Verkhovna Rada. The party declares it will not dispute the election outcome in courts. However, Oleksandr Moroz warns of his soon comeback to the big-time politics.

Does he maybe hope that the Party of Regions will help him by refusing to take the oath of office, thus making parliament incompetent?

Comparison table of the election results:

***

Traditionally, the PRU’s results in the western regions are very low, while the BYuT and Our Ukraine are unpopular in the eastern regions. Politicians take advantage of it speculating on the issue of split in Ukraine and demanding to form a broad coalition.

The PRU is expected to receive 175 seats in parliament while the BYuT will have 156.

That means that although both political forces failed to receive majority at this election, they received enough seats to bloc the work of a new parliament or even destroy it in the event they do not agree with the share of positions in authority.

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Oleg Deripaska, born in 1968, is Russia’s youngest billionaire at age 35. Deripaska accumulated a business empire through a series of ruthless and elaborate, though technically legal, takeover raids.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, he was a 23-year-old student at Moscow State University. He soon got a job in the fledgling metals trading market. By 1994, he was chief financial officer of Aluminprodukt.

Through the company, he bought a stake in a Siberian smelter plant, beginning his ascent to the top of one of Russia’s roughest industries. Deripaska became the plant’s manager to protect it from a takeover by its former owner, who once threatened him with a grenade launcher.

Later, Deripaska waged his own revolt to take over the shares of the London-based Transworld Group, then owned by controversial multimillionaire Mikhail Chernoi. Fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich became Deripaska’s partner; in early 2000, the two created a joint venture called Russian Aluminum (RusAl).

Today, RusAl has $4 billion in annual sales and is the world’s second-largest aluminum producer. Deripaska owns 75 percent of the company. His other businesses include power stations, Russia’s largest car and commercial vehicle manufacturer, and the country’s largest insurance company.

Estimated Worth:
$1.5 billionCurrent Position:
Chairman of the board of directors, Basic Element CompanyMajor Holdings:
Russian AluminumOther Interests:
Ingosstrakh Insurance; aircraft builder Aviacor; the GAZ automobile company; several bus builders and paper and pulp interests.Political Connections:
Deripaska is married to Polina Yumashev, the daughter of former President Boris Yeltsin’s chief of staff. Deripaska’s father-in-law in turn married Yeltsin’s daughter, which makes Deripaska a grandson of Yeltsin by marriage. In the current political climate of struggles between the Kremlin and oligarchs, Russian news media speculated in July 2003 that Deripaska would be “next in line” for investigations of his business practice by the Kremlin. One of Deripaska’s deputies at Russian Aluminum, the executive in charge of contacts with state agencies, is running in the December 2003 election for the State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian parliament) on the ticket of the center-right, ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.New Plays:
In October 2003, Deripaska bought an additional 25 percent stake of Russian Aluminum for an estimated $2 billion from fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich.Lifestyle:
For more than a year, Deripaska has flown by private jet to London every week to improve his English. Yet, unlike his fellow oligarchs, Deripaska says he has no interest in leaving Russia. In addition to his home in Moscow, Deripaska owns a country house in the wild southern region of Khakassia.

Notoriety:
In late 2000, a competitor filed a civil suit for racketeering against Deripaska and his company in a New York court, including charges of bribery, judicial corruption and armed force. The judge dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds. Deripaska was barred from travel to the United States and from entrance to the Davos economic summit in Switzerland. Deripaska has also become an outspoken opponent of Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization, clashing on the issue with U.S. ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow.

http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/moscow/deripaska.html

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Oil and gas exploration licenses have been put on hold until the end of December 2007 because the current laws are of a lower design than those prevalent to similar nations on the global scale where such prospects are carried out.

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According to media reports issued in Lusaka this week, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Dr. Kalombo Mwansa disclosed that the 1995 Petroleum Act was too weak to handle current exploration prospects thus the need to draw up policies and guidelines to facilitate oil and gas exploration by private companies. 

The first-ever reserves of oil and gas whose microbial analysis showed that 12 sites were positive for oil and six for gas have been discovered in Zambia near the border with Angola. The exploration was initially started in 2004 after prolonged fires that affected the areas, which prompted the government to launch an investigation.  

Zambia‘s northwestern region is becoming the country’s economic mainstay after the recent huge foreign investment at Lumwana Mines, which has one of the world’s largest reserves of copper ore. Lumwana also has a higher grade of uranium than initially thought. Other precious metals at Lumwana include large reserves of gold as well as cobalt.

Should all go as anticipated, the Zambian Enterprise will be set on a path to economic prosperity similar to what the United States of America experienced soon after the Great Depression. Our economy is slated to have exponential inexorableness similar to no other in Africa.

Dr. Mwansa who is also head of the special cabinet committee appointed by the president to oversee these drafts has been doing a fabulous job at the ministry and deserves some kudos from our team at the Zambian Chronicle; Britain, Russia and United States of America have shown interest in prospecting for oil and gas … thanks a trillion

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.     

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Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am glad to inform our audience and patrons that we have finally broken the supersonic speed of language barriers here at the Zambian Chronicle. You can now read your favorite blog in seven (7) different languages from around the world. 

It is believed that every single human being alive who is literate enough to both read and excogitate can understand one of these languages or at least a dialect of the same. We were prompted to add this feature due to increased traffic and the kind of inquires were receiving from those who have visited our site. Our blog stat info was outstanding … 

For instance, when we posted the Zambia Leads The World – Least Expensive/Fastest Adoption Programs article, we received referrals from all over the world as people were interested in knowing and learning about Adoption Programs the Zambian Enterprise offered. When we posted Just Who Is Carlos Slim – The World’s Richest Man? we received inquires from all over the world, I guess people of all faiths, languages, economic status, styles and backgrounds were interested in knowing who the new kid on the block was.

We don’t receive many comments but on that day a Spanish commentator left one in Spanish. A Weekend With Bill Clinton just brought in even more inquires and so did Hidden Secrets Of Lumwana – World’s Largest Undeveloped Deposits (Copper, Gold, Cobalt & Uranium) and then we had visitors going back A Crush On Obama … America Votes’08 to the day we had the largest number of hits exceeding hundreds of readership was when we posted Best Ever US Ambassador To Zambia – Carmen M Martinez . 

Of course that record (Ambassador Martinez) was broken today when we first published the translated French Version of the Zambian Chronicle; we are very sensitive to the needs of our audience therefore the decision to add more versions.  

We, at the Zambian Chronicle are committed to serving the entire world in letting every one know about the good tidings concerning our country. We are also committed to changing and helping shape the world view of the Zambian Enterprise and what better ways to do that than using our abilities coupled with synergies technology has to offer, welcome aboard … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.