News Briefs

May 11, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 p.m. EDT (0345 GMT)

India's parties struggle for dominance


NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- A heated power struggle is under way in India after national elections dealt a defeat to the ruling Congress Party without handing any other party a clear majority.

The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, won 179 seats in Parliament, more than any other Indian party. The party has since elected Atal Bihari Vajpayee as its leader. The BJP wants Vajpayee to become India's prime minister, replacing P.V. Narasimha Rao, who resigned Friday.

Rao, who is standing in as a "caretaker" prime minister until his successor is chosen, is also in danger of losing his position at the head of the Congress Party, which blames him in part for the 110-year-old party's nearly unprecedented electoral defeat. The Congress Party, combined with its supporters, won only 136 Parliament seats.

Not to be outdone, the National Front-Left Front alliance has vowed to do everything it can to stop the BJP from gaining control of the government. The NF-LF won just 88 Parliament seats, not nearly enough to form a government, but it is trying to form a coalition with other parties.

Argentine taxi drivers protest lax safety measures

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNN) -- Hundreds of taxis brought traffic to a standstill in part of Buenos Aires Friday as drivers staged a protest to demand stronger safety measures for what they say is a dangerous job. Saturday is National Taxi Driver's Day in Argentina, and is also the birthday of former first lady Eva Peron, who founded the drivers union.

The drivers union members initially tried to take their protest straight to the governor's mansion. When they were blocked by a police barricade, they moved their protest to the historic Plaza de Mayo.

The protesters claimed that in the last 120 days, five of their co-workers were killed as they worked the streets of the metropolitan area.


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