Opposition chief to resign
The main opposition party chief yesterday said she would resign to take responsibility for this week’s parliamentary election defeat. “I’m stepping down as the party head to take responsibility,” Democratic United Party (DUP) Chairperson Han Myeong-sook said after the ruling conservative New Frontier Party (NFP) retained its majority in Wednesday’s polls. The NFP won 152 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly, 25 more than the DUP, despite opinion polls predicting a victory by the opposition. “I am stepping down today, but will still continue efforts for the administration change in the 2012 presidential election,” Han said.
Former president arrested
Scores of police arrested former president Enkhbayar Nambar, raiding a house in the capital at dawn yesterday after he refused investigators’ summons to answer questions about corruption charges, law enforcement officials said. Investigators initially tried to arrest Enkhbayar on Thursday night. They stopped the former president’s car, but were foiled by his bodyguards, who took him to a nearby compound, setting up a standoff that ended with the raid, police said. Now an opposition politician, Enkhbayar served as prime minister and then president for most of a decade until losing office in 2009. He presided over a period of robust growth, but also a widening wealth gap and corruption, critics said.
Wen to visit Europe
Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) will travel to four European countries on a trip starting next week, just months after Beijing warned of an “urgent” need to solve the eurozone debt crisis, the foreign ministry said yesterday. Wen will travel to Iceland, Sweden, Poland and Germany from Friday next week to April 27, the ministry said. He will attend the opening ceremony of the Hannover fair, it said, but gave few other details of Wen’s itinerary. Wen will hold talks with leaders of each country, meet businesspeople and deliver speeches outlining China’s opening up policy, it said.
Abused baby dies
A three-month-old baby girl who was allegedly battered by her father has died in a hospital in Bangalore. Doctors say the baby suffered cardiac arrest and that attempts to revive her failed on Wednesday. The baby, Afreen, was brought to the hospital over the weekend with severe head injuries and burn and bite marks all over her body. Afreen’s father was arrested after her mother accused him of battering the child. The father has denied harming the baby. The mother had complained to police earlier that her husband had threatened her for giving birth to a girl.