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3#4172: Haiti Opposition Candidate Released (fwd)


June 10, 2000 Haiti Opposition Candidate Released
 Filed at 8:53 p.m. EDT By The Associated Press

 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Haitian authorities released an      
opposition candidate and four associates Saturday, nearly three       
weeks after they were arrested following regional elections, an        
opposition leader said. Authorities dropped charges of incitement to
violence against candidate Jean Limongy and the four others, said Evans
Paul of Limongy's Space for Concord five-party coalition.        
Limongy, a candidate for a lower house seat, and the others were       
arrested May 23, two days after local and legislative elections. More
than 2 million Haitian voters, about 60 percent of the electorate, cast
their ballots in the violence-free elections. The Lavalas Family party
of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide gained control of the upper
house and was leading in most lower-house races as vote counting
continued this week. Since the vote,police have arrested at least 37
opposition candidates and activists.Sixteen have been released.       
Space for Concord militant Laurore Noel,who was arrested with          
Limongy, remained in prison in Petit-Goave jail, about 35 miles    
southwest of the capital,Paul said. On Wednesday, three candidates
projected as the winners for seats on the Port-au-Prince city council
under Aristide's Lavalas Family banner were arrested on charges of
having false police identification cards.Elections for legislative seats
in Haiti's troubled Grand'-Anse district,where the vote was delayed due
to technical difficulties,are set for Sunday, officials said. Haiti has
been without a Parliament since President Rene Preval dismissed
legislators in 1999 to resolve a power struggle.