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#372: Haiti's Preval visits U.S. in search of investors (fwd)


Posted at 10:05 a.m. EDT Tuesday, August 31, 1999 

 Haiti's Preval visits U.S. in search of investors

 Port-au-Prince, Aug 31 --(EFE)-- Haitian President Rene Preval and a
group of businessmen are in Louisiana to meet with New Orleans Mayor
Marc Moriol and potential investors. Preval plans to discuss possible
investment opportunities in rice and sugar production, as well as shrimp
farming. The Haitian leader said Monday that he would also meet with
university officials. Preval is scheduled to stay in the United States
until Thursday, when he plans to travel to Canada to attend a summit of
52 heads of state from French-speaking countries. In response to
questions about the November general elections in Haiti, Preval
 said he had fulfilled his responsibilities with the formation of the
Provisional Electoral Council (PEC), approval of the elections law and
funding for the elections. Preval said he met with the head of the PEC
recently to discuss problems facing the organizers of the elections.
 ``It is not about questioning whether the president has the will or
not, but whether anything has been done to make the elections
possible,'' Preval said. The general elections appear uncertain at this
point, according to political analysts in Haiti. Last week, an
educational campaign to inform the public about the electoral process
was canceled. The cancellation has raised concerns that the president is
not truly committed to having elections, and some observers have started
to question whether Haiti will hold clean elections.