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#4478: Boycott Threatened Over New Haiti Vote (fwd)
Boycott Threatened Over New Haiti Vote From Associated Press
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti--President Rene Preval announced Friday that a
second round of elections for Haiti's Parliament will be held July 9,
despite protests about dubious results from the earlier balloting.
Results from the May 21 vote showed a strong victory for the Lavalas
Family party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. But three of
the nine members of the elections council refused to approve the
results--including the council president,who fled the country saying he
feared for his life. Most opposition parties have called for the results
to be annulled and say they will boycott any further election. They
maintain that the count was rigged to ensure an overwhelming victory for
Aristide, who is favored to win the presidential election in November.
The voting was supposed to return Haiti to democracy after Preval
dismissed Parliament in January 1999 to resolve a prolonged power
struggle and appointed a government by decree. The United Nations, the
United States, the Organization of American States, Canada and France
have found fault with the ballot count. On Friday, radio stations
broadcast an executive order from Preval announcing the July 9 date for
runoff balloting for seats in which no candidate received the 50% plus
one vote needed to win.With Aristide's party leading in most of those
races,Lavalas is expected to control both houses of the National
Assembly--the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.