Funeral held for Spanish politician

Basque separatist group blamed as Isaias Carrasco is buried a day before election.

    Zapatero said that, through the killing, Eta was trying to 'interfere' with the general elections [AFP]

    He died shortly after in hospital.

    Campaigning halted
     
    Both Spain's ruling Socialist party and the conservative opposition Popular Party blamed Eta for the murder and called off campaigning for the election after his death.

    But Juan Maria Uriarte, the bishop of San Sebastian, encouraged voters to show "courage" and not be "afraid" to exercise their right to vote.
      
    Earlier on Saturday, Carrusco's daughter Sandra appealed to voters to turn out in large numbers on Sunday to honour her father.
      
    "Those who want to show solidarity with my father and our pain should turn out and vote on Sunday to tell the assailants that we are going to win," she said.

    Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, accused the Eta of killing Carrasco in order to "interfere" with the election.

    Peace talks frozen
     
    Zapatero called off peace talks with Eta in December 2006, after the group was blamed for a car bombing that killed two people.
     
    Both Zapatero's Socialist Party and the opposition Popular Party cancelled rallies on Friday, the last day of campaigning.
     
    The opposition is hoping to win, despite falling behind in opinion polls.
     
    Zapatero aims to win a large enough share of the vote to allow him to govern without having to form a coalition.
      
    Zapatero came to power in a surprise election victory in 2004 amid the shock of commuter train bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people three days before his poll victory.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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