Swedish populists land four top posts
STOCKHOLM -- A right-wing populist party that received the second-most votes in Sweden's general election last month landed the chairmanships of four parliamentary committees Saturday and with it, the ability to wield more influence in mainstream Swedish politics.
The positions to be held by lawmakers from the Sweden Democrats include chairing the Riksdag's justice, foreign affairs, business affairs and labor market committees.
In addition to the four chairperson posts, the party was allowed to name the vice chairs of parliament's civil affairs, traffic, defense and tax committees.
Sweden Democrats, a nationalist and anti-immigration party with roots in the neo-Nazi movement, is part of right-wing bloc that won a narrow majority in the Riksdag in the Sept. 11 election.
Decisions on the posts were announced Friday in a joint statement from the four center-right parties that are in talks to form a coalition government. Sweden Democrats, which is one of the four, announced its nominees Saturday.
Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the center-right Moderates, the party that placed third, has been tasked with forming a government that is likely to have the Sweden Democrats as part of a governing coalition or at least the party's support in securing a majority in parliament.
Kristersson has until Oct. 12 to present results of his talks with parties to parliament Speaker Andreas Norlen.
Term extended for Somaliland leader
MOGADISHU, Somalia -- The House of Elders in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland has extended the term of office of President Muse Bihi Abdi by two years, a decision expected to cause more unrest by opposition groups.
Sulayman Mohamud Adan, the speaker of the chamber, said lawmakers voted 72-1 with one abstention in favor of the president's request for the term extension.
The Somaliland National Electoral Commission postponed the election until July 2023, stating the previously scheduled date of Nov. 13 was not viable due to time, technical and financial constraints.
The president assumed office in 2017 and his term was due to expire next month.
Omar Nur, the sole lawmaker to vote against the extension, told The Associated Press he decided to oppose it because parliament members weren't consulted before the proposal was submitted.
"I don't want to see our country plunging into chaos," he said.
Somaliland, a region of more than 3 million people strategically located by the Gulf of Aden, broke away from Somalia in 1991 as the country collapsed into warlord-led conflict.
Over the years, Somaliland has largely succeeded in holding regular elections, including parliamentary elections last year.
Hurricane Orlene heads for Mexico
MEXICO CITY -- Orlene grew to hurricane strength Saturday and is heading for an expected landfall early this week on Mexico's northwestern Pacific coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported Saturday Orlene had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. It was centered about 210 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes and moving north at 5 mph.
The Center said the hurricane may strengthen somewhat but could weaken again before making landfall.
Orlene is expected to pass over the Islas Marias, a former Mexican penal colony that the government is trying to convert into an ecotourism center.
Orlene is expected to make landfall Monday in Sinaloa state, in the region around the resort city of Mazatlan.
However, Orlene may bring heavy rains and high winds to the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta as it passes offshore. Puerto Vallarta closed its port to ship and boat traffic Saturday as a precaution.