John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, SDLP, of Northern Ireland has announced he is stepping down from the Belfast-based Northern Ireland Assembly. He is to concentrate on his work as Member of Parliament for Foyle in the Westminster parliament and on his duties as one of Northern Ireland's three Members of the European Parliament.
After two months in the job of general secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party PSOE, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero scored well in an opinion poll conducted by the Madrid daily El Pais. Of those interviewed 56 per cent said he was doing the job well or very well. Twenty-four per cent said they did not know or did not answer
Alexandr Kwasnieski, the socialist candidate, was re-elected prime minister in the first round of voting in 8 October. Poland's former leader Lech Walesa received 0.8 per cent of the votes and later announced that he was quitting politics.
Making the first official visit of a Bangladesh prime minister to the United States, Sheikh Hasina appealed to President Bill Clinton on 18 October for the extradition to her country of three men implicated in the murder of her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the military coup of 1975. They are among fifteen former army officers convicted of the crime in 1998.
A plaque dedicated by the International was unveiled in Rosario on 30 March in memory of Guillermo Estévez Boero, former PSP leader. The plaque reads "In homage to and remembrance of Guillermo Estévez Boero (1930-2000), a man of this city who by his identification with socialism and his deep commitment to democracy, social justice and solidarity gained the respect, appreciation and friendship of socialists, social democrats and members of labour parties around the world".
Christiane Brunner was elected President of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland at its Congress held in Lugano on 14-15 October. Kaspar Sutter is the new International Secretary
Following the merger of the Social Democratic Party and the People's Alliance to form the Social Democratic Alliance in Iceland, Össur Skarphedinsson was elected its Chair, Margret Frimannsdottir its Vice-Chair and Bjorgvin Sigurdsson its General Secretary.
Gramos Ruçi was elected General Secretary of the Socialist Party of Albania
Mario Rafaelli is the new International Secretary of the Italian Democratic Socialists, SDI.
Kathrine Raadim is the new International Secretary of the Norwegian Labour Party, DNA
Ann Linde is the new International Secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, SAP
Hideo Den is the new International Secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Japan
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