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#4537: Six Wounded in Haiti Vote Violence (fwd)


Friday July 7 6:27 PM ET  Six Wounded in Haiti Vote Violence

 By MICHAEL NORTON, Associated Press Writer 

 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Supporters of a losing mayoral candidate
in Haiti went on a rampage in a remote provincial town, wounding 12
people and setting houses ablaze, a radio report said Friday. In the
violence Thursday in Anse-d'Hainault, a coastal town of 29,000 on the
tip of Haiti's southern peninsula, backers of losing mayor Georges Simon
ransacked Radio Rebelle, a community radio station, and the home of its
owner, Orelien Joachim, Radio Vision 2000 reported. The crowds also set
fire to the house of Mayor-elect Necuel Belcombe and wounded 12 people,
who were hospitalized. In all six houses were set ablaze.           
Belcombe ran under the banner of the five-party  opposition coalition
known as Space for Concord in the June 11 election, the radio said.     
Simon, the runner-up and outgoing mayor, was from the left-leaning
Effort at Solidarity to Build a National Popular Alternative, which was
allied with former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party. ``Simon's
victory had already been proclaimed when Wednesday, on the basis of
 falsified tally sheets, the district election bureau declared he had
lost,'' party leader Kely Bastien told The Associated Press in a
telephone interview. ``That is what provoked the rage of his
supporters,'' he said. On Sunday, partisans of an independent mayoral
candidate clashed with supporters of the winning candidate from
Aristide's Lavalas Family party on Ile-a-Vache, an island of 12,000
people off Haiti's southern coast. Two Aristide party members were
killed and three houses were burned down. Haiti has nine electoral
districts. Eight of them held their local and legislative
 elections on May 21, and the district of Grand'-Anse, which includes
the town of Anse-d'Hainault, held its elections June 11. Opposition
parties charge that the counting in the parliament and local elections
 was skewed to ensure a massive victory for Aristide, who is favored to
win the November presidential election. The international community,
including the United Nations and the United States, have backed
allegations that the counting was irregular. A second round of balloting
is set for Sunday despite a boycott by almost all opposition parties and
protests by the international community. Official results from the first
round show Lavalas winning 18 of l9 contested seats in the 27-seat
Senate and 29 seats in the 83-member House of Deputies. Since Aristide's
party is leading in most of the 54 races to be held Sunday, it is
expected to win control of both houses of Parliament.