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India Decides: Modi wins massively.

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BJP supporters were seen in mass at their party headquarters in New Delhi, India. Celebrating Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a disclosed result that shows he beat his rival with a massive margin.

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The Prime Minster has received congratulation messages from other states for his remarkable victory.

Official data from India’s Election Commission showed Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead in 298 of the 542 seats available, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament.

That would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984. The main opposition Congress Party was ahead in 52 seats, figures showed.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, also a senior BJP leader, said on Twitter the BJP had won a “massive victory”, while Amarinder Singh, a senior Congress leader, said that party had “lost the battle” for power.

India’s allies, including Sri Lanka and Israel, congratulated Modi, who is due to meet party workers at 1730 local time on Thursday

The mood was upbeat at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, with party workers setting off firecrackers and cheering as TV channels reported the margin of victory.

“It’s a huge mandate for positive politics and the policies of Narendra Modi,” said GVL Narasimha Rao, a BJP spokesman. “It’s a huge win for India. We are humbled by the magnificence of this victory.”

Congress leaders were somber.

“It’s obviously not in our favor at all,” said Salman Soz, a Congress spokesman. “We need to wait for the full results but right now it doesn’t look good.”

The NDA’s predicted margin of victory, at 348 seats to 85 for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, according to TV channel NDTV, is much larger than surveys indicated in the run-up to the vote, when most polls showed it would be the largest alliance but would fall short of an overall majority.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead

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All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.

Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.

But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.

In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.

At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government

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After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.

Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival,  Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.

Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.

Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.

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