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#4713: Partial Haiti Runoff Elections Set (fwd)


Wednesday July 26 10:41 PM ET Partial Haiti Runoff Elections Set       
By MICHAEL NORTON, Associated Press Writer 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haiti will hold partial runoff elections
on Sunday, the president announced, despite opposition and international
questions over results from earlier voting.Haiti has already held first-
and second-round voting in most of the country on May 21 and July 9,
respectively, with results so far showing a strong victory for the
Lavalas Family party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The Sunday voting announced Wednesday by President Rene Preval will be
held to determine seven  seats in the southern Grand'- Anse district and
three seats in two other districts, all from the lower house.The run-off
is necessary because no single candidate won a majority of votes in the
first round.These run-offs will be the final balloting in the
parliamentary elections, which have been plagued by delays, violence and
disputes over the results.The United States, Canada and the European
Union have questioned the formula used to determine elections winners
and have threatened to withhold aid unless Haiti revises the results.
Japan last week suspended aid because of violence and instability
related to the elections controversy.`We wouldn't like'' the
international community to impose sanctions, ``but if it happens, we
will tighten our belts to continue building democracy in the country,''
Preval said Wednesday.   The opposition charged the first-round vote had
been rigged in favor of Aristide candidates. The July 9 second-round
vote, held amid an almost total opposition boycott, suffered from a low
turnout: only 5 to 10 percent. From the two rounds of voting, Aristide's
party has won 18 seats in the upper house, the Senate, as well as more
than 60 seats in the lower Chamber of Deputies, according to official
and unofficial results. All 83 seats in lower house, the Chamber of
Deputies, have been up for grabs in the parliamentary election. Only 19
of the upper Senate's 27 seats were contested. The 19th seat was won by
an independent candidate. Haiti's government has been without a
parliament since January 1999, when Aristide's handpicked successor
Preval shut it down to end months of struggle with the majority party.