30 March 2006 Edition
International news in brief
Rival leaders of Ukraine's Orange Revolution are considering reuniting to keep out a pro-Russian party that seems to have polled well in recent elections.
Early results suggest President Viktor Yushchenko's party was beaten into third place. Former PM Viktor Yanukovych appears to have taken the largest vote share.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi leads a center-right coalition against a center-left alliance headed by Romano Prodi, a former European Commission president, in elections on 9 and 10 April. Polls have given Prodi a 4-point lead.
Mexico's presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says if he wins the election in July he will put dealings with the rest of the world on the backburner while he gets on with tackling Mexico's endemic poverty. According to supporters he is avoiding the anti-US rhetoric increasingly heard from other left wing leaders in Latin America, so as to concentrate on winning the election and trying to drag millions of Mexicans out of poverty.
Hamas took a step closer to office on Monday 27 March when Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh presented his cabinet and governmental programme to parliament. The session came on the eve of Israeli elections. Although he remains in a coma, Ariel Sharon dominantes the election, as Kadima, the party that he founded in 2005 as a breakaway from Likud, is expected to win.