[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
#318 Aristide on Elections Reuters 082399 from Slavin (fwd)
Aristide says his party will run in Haiti election
By Jennifer Bauduy
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide,
Haiti's most influential politician, officially announced that his party will
participate in upcoming elections, party officials said on Monday.
``... Lavalas Family is the most powerful political organisation in the
country... We will win the election with a landslide,'' Aristide said in a
taped message sent to a weekend gathering of leaders from his party, Lavalas
The announcement was interpreted as an endorsement of the impoverished
Caribbean nation's first elections in more than two years. Voting for
municipal and legislative had been expected in November, but has been delayed
by government election officials for logistic reasons.
A date for the vote has not been set.
Seven thousand Lavalas Family members gathered in the southwestern city of
Jeremie to prepare a party development plan. Party members chanted support
for Aristide, their presidential candidate for December 2000 elections.
Aristide, a charismatic former priest, became Haiti's first freely elected
president in 1991. He was overthrown seven months later by a military coup
and was restored to power in 1994 by a U.S.-led invasion of 20,000 foreign
Barred by Haiti's constitution from serving consecutive terms as president,
Aristide announced he would be the Lavalas Family's presidential candidate in
About 400 U.S. troops and a 300-member U.N. police training mission remain
posted in Haiti.
President Rene Preval announced that the terms of most lawmakers except nine
senators ended last January and began ruling by decree. He installed a new
prime minister and Cabinet in March.
Separately, one of the nine members of Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council,
Ernst Mirville, and his driver were temporarily held hostage by gunmen on
Saturday. The two men were released them unharmed, although the gunmen
escaped with the official's car, Radio Haiti Inter reported.
Election officials said they did not consider the incident politically
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.