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November 01, 1995 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-01

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 1, 1995 -

South African taxi drivers threaten blockade in el,

MMABATHO, South Africa (AP)
- Taxi drivers have threatened block-
ades and troops have been deployed to
deter possible violence when North
West Province joins most of South Af-
rica in electing local officials today.
The nation's second democratic vote
has uncovered long-simmering disputes
in the province that is home to fervent
African National Congress supporters
and a party loyal to a former black
homeland leader ousted last year.
A holiday was called today for elec-
tions at 12,000 polling stations nation-
wide to choose almost 700 local and
rural councils that will replace the last
vestiges of apartheid rule. President
Quebec
Premier
Parizeau
resigns
MONTREAL (AP) - Stung by de-
feat in the secession referendum, Que-
bec Premier Jacques Parizeau said yes-
terday he plans to resign. He also apolo-
gized forblamingthe loss on non-French
immigrants.
Parizeau maintained staunch support,
however, for the separatist cause that
has been at the heart of his long political
career. He said his Parti Quebecois
would choose new leadership capable
of achieving independence for the
mostly French-speaking province.
Parizeau, 65, was elected premier
last year after promising to hold a refer-
endum on secession. His side lost Mon-
day, but only narrowly - 50.6 percent
to 49.4 percent.
But at a time when the separatists
could have been taking heart at their
strong showing, Parizeau shocked even
his allies with a bellicose speech at
campaign headquarters, blaming the
defeat on immigrants.
"It's true we have been defeated, but
basically by what?" Parizeau said. "By
money and the ethnic vote."
Parizeau's co-leader in the separatist
camp, Lucien Bouchard, distanced him-
self from the ethnic remarks yesterday,
signaling that the premier's position
had become untenable.

Nelson Mandela and his ANC came to
power in the nation's first all-race elec-
tion in April 1994, and most of the local
councils also were expected to be black-
led.
While many of the races have failed
to ignite the passion of last year's vote
that ended apartheid, and balloting was
expected to be mostly peaceful, parts of
North West Province were tense on
election eve.
Much of the territory formerly was
the Bophuthatswana black homeland,
one of the puppet states set up by apart-
heid South Africa to strip blacks of
South African citizenship.
Former homeland leader Lucas

Mangope, ousted for trying to prevent
last year's vote, and his United Chris-
tian Democratic Party continue to hold
pockets of support in a province other-
wise dominated by the ANC.
Mangope was accused of corruption
and authoritarian rule during the years
he led Bophuthatswana, with the gov-
ernment this week ordering him to pay
back $5 million in missing public
money. Still, he attracted larger rallies
than the ANC in recent appearances.
Soldiers in armored personnel carri-
ers patrolled yesterday in Mmabatho,
the provincial capital, and along the
province's western edge where citizens
complain the new border with neigh-

boring Northern Cape province cuts
their community in two.
Two taxi organizations operating in
the province have called on members to
blockade key routes to prevent people
from voting. They are demanding an
end to violence in the private taxi indus-
try that serves most black commuters,
and seek government subsidies.
Provincial officials urged the taxi
operators to keep roads open, and the
patrolling troops were expected to act
against anyone trying to form block-
ades.
"We are aware that there are people
bent on derailing this process, so we're
not surprised the troops are there," said

Willie Modise, spokesman for provin-
cial Premier Popo Molefe of the ANC.
"There are people not prepared to wel-
come the new democracy."
But some in Mmabatho believe
Molefe and the ANC are acting
undemocratically.
Workers at the former homeland tele-
vision station, still called
Bophuthatswana Broadcasting Corp.,
threatened to quit because they believe
Molefe is reneging on early retirement
deals.
The packages designed to reduce the
staff of 725 by a third were so lucrative
that all but nine employees signed up.,
They were supposed to take effect to-

ections
day and cost Molefe's provincial go-
ernment $130 million.
Molefe says his government never
approved them. 0
At an angry confrontation yesterday
employees with placards saying "Popo
will fall harder than Mangope" de-
manded they be allowed to quit today
and get their money.
An agreement last night called for
further talks and workers to continue at
their jobs.
With 81 percent of a potentialt.7
million voters registered, the dusty. poor
region hugging South Africa's border
with Botswana may have a better turn-
out than other areas.

Interest rates fall;
Canadian market
rallies after vote

Stung by defeat in the secession referendum, Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau announces his resignation, which will go into
effect at the end of the fail parliamentary session. His wife, Lisette Lapointe, looks on yesterday in Quebec City.

Los Angeles Times
TORONTO - Canadian financial
markets rallied strongly across the board
yesterday as the federal government
and banks lowered key interest rates in
the wake of the voters' narrow defeat of
a referendum allowing Quebec to leave
Canada.
Investors, who in recent weeks had
retreated to the sidelines, were relieved
with the outcome and poured money
back into Canadian investments, giving
stocks their biggest single-day boost in
eight years. Bond and currency markets
also rallied.
"There is a big sigh of relief," said
Ruth Getter, chief economist for
Toronto Dominion Bank. "If it had gone
the other way there would have been a
monumental disaster."
Still, the slim margin -Quebec vot-
ers rejected the referendum by a 50.6
percent to 49.4 percent margin -raises
longer-term concern about Canada's
political and economic stability, which
could dampen investor enthusiasm. The
vote also raises uncertainty about the
government's ability to continue re-
ducing its big budget deficit.
"My view is, enjoy the rally now
because it won't be sustained," said
Patti Croft, senior economist for CIBC/
Wood Gundy in Toronto.
The most euphoric reaction came on
Bay Street in the heart of Toronto's

financial district. The Toronto Stock
Exchange 300 composite index shot up
nearly 3 percent at the opening bell
before falling back a bit. The index
closed at 4462.80, up 83.04 points. In-
dividual, institutional and international
buyers participated.
It was the third-biggest gain ever for
the Toronto index, though it didn't quite
cancel out the 100-point loss recordeda
week earlier. Financial stocks were
among the strongest gainers.
"People have concluded in the short
term it will be business as usual," said
Clement Gignac, chief economist at
Levesque Beaubien in Montreal.
"We've returned to where we were two
months ago."
The Canadian dollar also surged .83
cents to 74.41 cents against the U.S.
dollar. The currency - known here as
the "loonie" because it is imprinted
with the likeness of a loon - recently
had fallen as low as 72.5 cents and was
expected to fall below the all-time record
of 69 cents ifthe French-speaking sepa-
ratists succeeded in winning Quebecs
independence.
Bonds also moved ahead sharply,
spurred by reaffirmation of Canada's
and Quebec's credit ratings and the
interest rate cuts.
The yield on the benchmark 30-year
bond fell to 8.03 percent from $.21
percent.

Parizeau expressed regret for his
phrasing, saying he used terms "that
could have been much better chosen."
But he reiterated his view that Quebec's
French-speaking majority had, in ef-
feet, been thwarted by non-
francophones.
About 90 percent of English-speak-
ing and immigrant Quebecers opposed
secession, while French Quebecers -
who make up 82 percent of the popula-
tion - voted for independence by a 60-
40 margin.
Earlier yesterday, Bouchard-apos-
sible replacement for Parizeau -

scoffed at an offer from Prime Minister
Jean Chretien to negotiate a new status
for Quebec.
"Never again will sovereigntists be
begging for anything from the rest of
Canada," declared Bouchard. He said
Quebec would sit down for talks with
Canada only after winning a future in-
dependence referendum.
Chretien, chastened by the razor-thin
federalist victory Monday, said he
would try to get other provincial pre-
miers to support changes that would
decentralize the government and rec-
ognize Quebec as a distinct society.

Bouchard described his reaction to
Chretien's offer as "boredom" and "big
yawns."
"Nobody's going to get us
sovereigntists involved in another 30
years of sterile discussions," he said.
Bouchard reiterated the separatists'
promise to mount another independence
drive. Current Quebec law bars a new
secession referendum until after new leg-
islative elections, but separatists control
the legislature and could change the law.
Though most of Canada welcomed
the outcome of Monday's vote, Quebec
was uneasy.

Yeltsin's wife comforts Russia, calls
for thoughtful government reform

Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - Since Boris Yeltsin
was rushed to the hospital last week
with a new bout of heart disease, Russia
has been gripped by speculation that its
unpopular president is near death and
that his post-Soviet reforms may be
swept away in an imminent - and
possibly bloody - change of leader-
ship.
Naina Yeltsin endured all that si-
lently, with pain in her own heart -
until yesterday.
Then she vented her feelings in a
televised interview aimed at assuring
the world that her husband is on the
mend and urging Russians to bear their
own hardships in the name of his demo-
cratic, free-market course.
"We are all from the past," the first
lady said. "It is very difficult to change
everything overnight. We should not
demand the impossible of the president
now. ... We must help the president
overcome."
The 24-minute interview, aired partly
on Russian Television, was extraordi-
nary.
It thrust Mrs. Yeltsin, an intensely
private person, into a public role as
presidential spokeswoman, eclipsing
powerful Kremlin aides who have lost
much of their credibility.
It was also unusual that instead of
limiting her remarks to her 64-year-old
husband's health, she plunged into
Russia's political fray, much as Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev's wife,
Raisa, did in the heady days of
"perestroika."
Mrs. Yeltsin, 63, denounced Com-
munist and hardline nationalists who
are favored to win the Dec. 17 parlia-
mentary elections as a "black opposi-
tion" bent on wrecking the country. She

"It is very
painful to watch
this. It is not his
heart alone that is
in pain."a
- Naina Yelstin
Russian first lady
defended Russia's "evolution" toward
free-market capitalism and rejected as-
sertions that only a tiny minority is
benefiting.
"We shouldn't paint all this in dark
colors," she declared.
"The shops are full. Russia is build-
ing up. If you travel by plane, you can
see construction under way. If people
are building houses, it is a sign the
country is surviving. It is too early to
bury Russia."
Mrs. Yeltsin said last springshe wants
her husband to retire when his term
expires next June so he can rest. She did
not speak on that subject yesterday but
admitted her inability to rein in his self-
destructive habits.
"Sadly, I cannot demand anything of
him," she said. "He is very careless
about his health. He has always been
so."
"Boris Nikolayevich is such a person
who takes all his work to heart," she
added. "I told him long ago, you cannot
be a leader, because a leader must be
indifferent. ... So much worrying falls
on the heart of any leader. It is very
painful to watch this. It is not his heart
alone that is in pain."
She said Yeltsin failed to complete

prescribed treatment forhis earlier heart
ailment, in July. He spent two weeks in
a hospital and two weeks at a country
retreat but "started having serious meet-
ings" with aides a week after he was
stricken, she said.
The first lady attributed her husband's
relapse to a demanding, self-imposed
schedule during official visits last month
to France and the United States, aggra-
vated by jet lag. He was stricken last
Thursday, two days after returning home
from New York.
Doctors have describedboth episodes
as bouts of ischemia, which reduced the
supply of blood and oxygen to Yeltsin's
heart, and avoided the Russian word
"infarkt," which means heart attack.
They have joined Mrs. Yeltsin in
insisting that the president get more rest
this time - three weeks in the hospital
and two weeks of vacation.
Mrs. Yeltsin's interview appeared to
be part of a coordinated effort to dispel
any impression that the president is
near death.
Prime MinisterViktor Chernomyrdin
and Kremlin spokesman Sergei
Medvedev, among others, had been as-
serting that Yeltsin was in control of the
country, but they lacked credibility be-
cause none had been allowed into the
hospital.
Yesterday, Mrs. Yeltsin and two of
the few other people who have seen the
president-the head of his eight-mem-
ber medical team and his chief of secu-
rity - stepped forward with upbeat
reports on his health.
"I can say with relief that his condi-
tion is improving," Mrs. Yeltsin said,
looking a bit tired but not on edge. "Of
course we are all worried ... but I think
it's simply out of place to speak about
the president's incapacity."

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