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4315: U.S. Urges Haitian Restraint (fwd)


Tuesday June 20 3:44 PM ET  U.S. Urges Haitian Restraint

 WASHINGTON (AP ) - The United States urged Haitians on Tuesday to
exercise restraint and said results of last month's elections should be
carefully and accurately reported. State Department spokesman Richard
Boucher said special U.S. Haiti coordinator Donald Steinberg and
National Security Council senior director Arturo Valenzuela currently
are in Port-au-Prince, the capital, for meetings related to the election
results. ``The manner in which they're counted and finalized is very
important to us, '' Boucher said. ``We believe the process needs to be
handled very carefully.'' Boucher said the United States believes
``everybody should be exercising restraint and urging calm and trying to
make this process continue in a manner that does turn  out to be free
and fair.''The country's Elections Council released results Monday that
give former President Jean-Bertrand's Aristide's party control of 16 of
the Senate's 17 seats. The council move came after hours of unrest in
three of Haiti's biggest cities by protesters demanding release of the
results of the May 21 balloting. Boucher said the situation in
Port-au-Prince Tuesday was calm and the U.S. Embassy reopened Tuesday
after closing Monday because of demonstrations near the building. The
protesters tried to burn an American flag. He said the United States was
concerned that Leon Manus, who supervised the election, felt it
necessary to flee the country over the weekend after receiving a death
threat. Boucher said Manus entered the United States on a valid visa but
could not say if he had requested asylum. Haiti's Radio Galaxie in a
report from the United States quoted Manus as saying he refused to give
in to pressure from President Rene Preval to sign off on incorrect
election results. The broadcast quoted Manus as saying Aristide
candidates won seven Senate seats while Preval had insisted they won 16.