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#4614: Fwd: Haiti News Summary - July 14, 2000 (fwd)

From: radman <resist@best.com>

>From: HaitiNewsSummary@aol.com
>Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 16:17:21 EDT
>Haiti News Summary - July 14, 2000
>The Following is a brief weekly summary of news from Haiti.  Individual
>sources, mostly from within Haiti, are cited at the end of each item.  If you
>do not wish to continue to receive this news summary please e-mail us at
>HaitiNewsSummary@AOL.com and we will remove you from the distribution list.
>Also feel free to send the addresses of anyone else you know who would like
>to be added to this list.
>Elections News
>The second round of parliamentary elections were held in Haiti on Sunday,
>July 9.  The voting was mainly peaceful.   Voter turnout was generally low as
>had been expected.  No electoral bureaus were open in the Port-au-Prince
>area, as no run offs were needed for races in those districts.  The CEP said
>it was satisfied with the day; they estimated the turn out at about 10%,
>which they noted was higher than for run off elections in 1990 or in 1995.
>"We do not have a tradition of run off elections" said CEP director of
>operations Luciano Pharaon.  (Radio Quiskeya)
>The elections were observed by national observers from KOZEPEP (a peasant
>organization which had fielded 5000 observers in May) and Justice and Peace.
>Both groups expressed satisfaction with the voting process.   Observers from
>various political parties (mandataires) were also present at the polling
>places.  Luciano Pharoan, the CEP director of Operations noted that only 6 of
>  90 candidates on the ballot actually withdrew from the races and those six
>did so verbally - rather than via an official letter.  (AHP, CHRD)
>Yvon Neptune, speaking for Fanmi Lavalas, congratulated the Haitian people
>for completing the process and also saluted the decision of many opposition
>candidates to participate in the election in spite of boycotts called by
>their parties. Leaders of opposition parties continued to call for the
>annulation of the May 21st elections.  They attributed the low turn out to
>the disenchantment of the voters with the process.  On Monday, Prime Minister
>Jacques Alexis told reporters that the parliament issuing from these
>elections should enter into function without delay to begin working with the
>government to improve conditions in Haiti.  He said his government was taking
>steps to that effect.  He criticized opposition parties, saying the results
>simply reflected the political reality of the country.  He minimized the
>threat of sanctions and explained that the Haitian government is working to
>help the international community understand its position.  If understanding
>could not be reached, Alexis said, Haitian authorities would take the steps
>necessary to ensure that the country could function.  (AHP)
>The head of the OAS election observer mission, Orlando Marville, left Haiti
>for Washington on Monday.  The OAS did not observe the elections on Sunday
>and the entire mission is due to leave this week.  On Thursday, Marville
>presented his report on the elections to the permanent council of the OAS.
>He repeated his criticism of the methodology used to tabulate percentages
>attributed to candidates in senatorial races.  Mr. Marville and Caesar
>Gaviria, the Secretary General of the OAS did acknowledge that the elections
>on May 21st went well and that the Haitian people participated in mass.
>Haiti's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fritz Longchamps, who was present at the
>session, countered that the methodology used was a solution to the dilemma
>presented by the fact that two Senators appeared on each ballot due to the
>need to fill 2/3 of the Senate seats.  The Haitian constitution does not
>foresee this eventuality.   According to Longchamps, to address the problems
>presented in calculating the percentages the CEP used the same methodology
>that was used in 1990 and in 1995.  Longchamps also referred to the protocol
>of accord signed between Haiti and the OAS with regards to election
>observations.  The accord does not grant the OAS the authority to make
>recommendations of this type to Haiti's electoral authorities.   (AHP)
>International criticism and pressure regarding Haiti's election continued
>with the State Department's Richard Boucher saying on Wednesday that Haiti's
>elections was flawed and incomplete.  He pointed out that the situation could
>still be corrected if Haiti held a second round of elections for the Senate
>seats that the US disputes.  The Presidency of the European Union also
>released a declaration supporting the OAS position and threatening to cut off
>aid to Haiti under the LOME agreement if the situation is not rectified.
>(Text of EU Declaration)
>A delegation of the International Organization of Francophony visited Haiti
>and met with the CEP on Thursday. They did not take a position, but were
>gathering information on the elections process to be reported back to the
>Secretary General of their organization, Boutros Boutros Ghali.  (AHP)
>Local officials elected on May 21 were sworn in during the week.  On
>Thursday, July 13 the mayors and communal councils (CASEKS) for the
>department of the West were sworn in at the Palace of Justice in
>Port-a-Prince.  The new mayor of Port-au-Prince, Marie-Yves Pouponneau
>Duperval said her first priority would be to address environmental problems
>affecting the city.  She asked for the cooperation of taxpayers to turn the
>city into a true capital.  In the May 21 elections Fanmi Lavalas candidates
>won 89 of 115 mayor posts in the country, and 321 of 485 communal councils.
>Haiti Asks for Debt Relief
>On June 30 at the extraordinary session of the United Nations General
>Assembly in Geneva Haiti's Minister of Planning, Anthony Dessoures told the
>assembly that Haiti officially requests the cancellation of the debts of the
>world's poorest nation's, or the conversion of the debt into investments to
>benefit social programs.  Haiti's foreign debt is estimated at 1.34 billion
>dollars.  Eighty-four percent of that is owed to the World Bank and the IMF.
>Forty percent of the debt was amassed during the Duvalier regime.  Despite
>the burden of the debt on Haiti's budget - which amounts to millions of
>dollars in payments every month - Haiti is not yet on the list of highly
>indebted poor countries for which debt relief is being discussed.
>Seized Drugs Destroyed by the HNP
>The Haitian National Police destroyed 236.27 Kilograms of cocaine, and 627.37
>pounds of marijuana that had previously been seized in counter drug
>operations.   Since November 1999 fifty-two people have been arrested for
>drug trafficking, seven of them Colombian nationals.  (AHP)
>Trial Announced in the Carrefour- Feuilles Massacre
>The Minister of Justice, Camille Leblanc announced on Tuesday that the trial
>of the police officers implicated in the massacre in Carrefour-Feuilles would
>be held at the end of July.  On May 28, 1999 eleven young men were killed by
>the CIMO led by Coles Rameau who was at that time the police commissaire for
>Port-au-Prince.  Last month six of the police officers that were being held
>were released by the prosecutor.
>Pressure for Action in the Jean Dominique Case
>On July 10, Foundation 30 Septembre held a day long call-in to the Ministry
>of Justice to pressure the ministry to move forward in the investigation into
>the April 3 assassination of Jean Dominique.  A number of groups have made
>July "Jean Dominique Month".  The action was followed up on Thursday with a
>one day fax-in to the Ministry called by human rights organizations.
>Criminal Deportees
>On Monday 40 criminal deportees were repatriated to Haiti by the United
>States government.  The deportees were again held in prisons around the
>capital.  Haitian authorities said they would look at each case individually
>in deciding whether or not they should be released.  (AHP)