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Briefs & Updates; Federations; Vol. 3; No 3

Obasanjo’s candidates win leadership of Nigerian National Assembly Letter from the Cyprus Embassy On June 3, following the April 12 general in Washington, D.C. USA elections in Nigeria, the two houses of the Nigerian Congress chose their new leaders. June 2, 2003Adolphus Wabara was chosen by the Nigerian Senate as its President and Aminu Masari was To the Editor: chosen as leader of the Nigerian House of With reference to your brief article on Cyprus in theRepresentatives after a three-way race, most recent issue (May, 2003) of Federations, (“Cyprus reported This Day (Lagos) on June 4. Both federation proposal rejected; EU membershipWabara and Masari are members of President approved”), I regret to say that what you mentionObsanjo’s party, the People’s Democratic Ambassador Marcoullisabout the UN Secretary General’s plan is completelyParty. inaccurate. After the Nigerian elections last spring, the As described exhaustively in the UN Secretary General’s Report to theSouth-West of Nigeria returned a majority of Security Council (S/2003/398 of 1 April 2003), the prime responsibility for theObasanjo supporters to the Senate. This was a failure of Kofi Annan’s effort rests with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Raufmajor shift from the 1999 election results, in Denktash, who flatly rejected a proposed referendum on the Annan plan.which 17 of the 18 senators elected from the Mr. Denktash’s negative attitude was also regretted by the UN Securityregion were members of the Alliance for Council in its Resolution 1475 of April 14, 2003.Democracy, a party opposed to Obasanjo. In contrast, the UN Secretary General commended the co-operation andIn the House of Representatives, a three-way flexibility of the Greek Cypriot side throughout the process and especiallyrace among Lawan Farouk, Dr. Usman Bugaje President Papadopoulos’ positive response on the issue of submitting theand Alhaji Masari turned into a two-man plan to a referendum.contest between Bugaje and Masari. The victory of Masari was attributed to “forces Yours sincerely, loyal to President Olusegun Obasanjo” Erato Kozakou Marcoullisaccording to the Nigerian news magazine Ambassador of CyprusVanguard of Friday, June 6. Embassy of Cyprus Washington, D.C.EU heads approve draft of a United States of America European constitution Twenty-five European heads of state, meeting Gay marriage legal, Canadian court decidesin Salonika, Greece, approved the draft of a constitution for the After an appeals court in the Province of Ontario decided thatEuropean Union on June 20. The 15 heads of state of current marriage should not be denied to gays and lesbians, theEU members and 10 heads of state of future members all Canadian federal government announced on June 17 that itapproved the text in principle. The idea of a constitution for would not appeal this decision to the Canadian Supremethe EU has been a hot topic for some time (See “Is Europe Court, the Globe and Mail reported on June 18. Instead, thereheading toward a federal constitution?”, by Uwe Leonardy, will be federal legislation drafted to formalize gay marriageFederations Vol. 1, No. 5, Summer 2001). soon, said Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, adding thatOn May 28, The Guardian in the UK viewed the most important there will be a “free vote” (without party-enforced discipline)features of the draft as these provisions: on the legislation when it comes before the House of •a long-term EU president to replace the current rotating Commons. And all Canadian provinces except Alberta said presidency they would be willing to co-operate in marrying gays and•creation of an EU foreign minister lesbians. In Canada, the Canada Marriage Act is federal • expanding the EU commission from 15 to 25 members legislation, but the provinces issue all the marriage licences. In•a Euro defence force the mean time, the Ontario court decision stated that gay• tax harmonization couples could marry immediately and more than 100 gay and•a charter of fundamental rights lesbian couples in the province have done so. Canada became • an EU prosecutor the third country in the world in which gay marriages were • allowing the EU to sign treaties legal, following Netherlands and Belgium. Federations Vol. 3, No. 3, August 2003