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#5116: Protests Against Haiti Mount (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Monday September 18 6:46 PM ET  Protests Against Haiti Mount 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Thousands of protesters marched in
central Haiti on Monday to demand the resignation of a legislature
 controlled by the Lavalas Family Party of former President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide.Radio stations reported that about 5,000 people
marched, which would be the biggest protest since recent elections.
``Down with Lavalas! Down with Aristide!'' demonstrators shouted as they
marched from the village of Papaye to nearby Hinche, about 45 miles
northeast of Port-au-Prince. Sporadic gunfire toward the end of the
march triggered panic among the demonstrators, but no injuries          
were reported and the protest ended peacefully. The march was organized
by the Papaye Peasants' Movement, the biggest rural workers'
organization in  Haiti, and was endorsed by the opposition Convergence
coalition. The opposition accuses President Rene Preval's government of
rigging local and legislative elections in May, June and July in favor
of Lavalas. Preval's critics have also charged Lavalas with being behind
street violence aimed at opposition leaders.  ``The Lavalas Family is
trying to gag any expression of opposition to (Aristide's) plan to
establish a   dictatorship,'' said Gerard Pierre-Charles, spokesman for
the former parliamentary majority
 The Organization of American States has expressed doubts about the way
candidates were selected for the second round of the elections. The
European Union and the United States have threatened to
 withhold funds, or channel them through non-governmental agencies, if
Haiti does not revise the