Democrat settlement blow to Clinton

Dispute is resolved by giving half a vote to Michigan and Florida delegates.

    Saturday's decision by committee vote will come
    as a blow to the Clinton campaign [AFP]

    The decision will come as a blow to nominee hopeful Hillary Clinton who failed to get backing for full voting rights for the states.

     

    The polls in Michigan and Florida had initially been discounted after they were held earlier than prescribed, in January.

     

    Blow to Clinton

                      

    Clinton, who signed a pledge with other candidates not to campaign in either state, won both votes. However, her rival Barack Obama did not run in the Michigan poll.

     

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    In Florida, Clinton won 105 delegates and Obama 67 - but these will be halved as a penalty for early voting.

     

    Clinton will be given 69 delegates for Michigan and Obama 59, which again will be halved.

     

    With the half votes Clinton falls more than 100 delegates behind Obama in the US presidential election race.

     

    Rob Reynolds, Al Jazeera's senior Washington correspondent, said: "This is a blow to Clinton.

     

    "It would have been a good symbolic victory for her and would also have helped her, she believed, attract more uncommitted super delegates.

     

    "The main story of this race has not changed. Obama is still significantly ahead of Clinton."

     

    Reynolds added that Obama is expected to win the nomination for presidential candidate after three more primaries next week.

     

    Obama quits church

     

    It was also announced on Saturday that Obama has quit his Chicago church, after preachers from the church continued to spout racially-enthused rhetoric.

     

    Campaign sources confirmed the decision which followed a guest preacher mocking Clinton with racial rhetoric.

     

    Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a former pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ, caused waves during Obama's campaign after videos emerged of his racially tinged sermons earlier this year.

     

    Obama has been a member of the church for 20 years.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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