[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#5331: Haiti to investigate alleged coup plot (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Haiti to investigate alleged coup plot
October 17, 2000 Web posted at: 10:04 PM EDT (0204 GMT)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- As tension mounts before November
 presidential elections, Haiti's Premier Jacques-Edouard Alexis on
Tuesday  announced an investigation into an alleged destabilization plot
involving police officers. "Certainly, there were police who met and
plotted to create disorder," Alexis told reporters.He spoke after the
Organization of American States mediated a breakthrough in Haiti's
political impasse, bringing together partisans of the leading election
contender, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and opposition
politicians boycotting the presidential ballot because they charge
legislative elections earlier this year were rigged. Aristide candidates
won 80 percent of the seats. Alexis did not say who would conduct the
investigation into the alleged plot. On Saturday, he said firearms were
being smuggled into the Caribbean country,indicating "people wanted to
commit assassinations and stage a coup d'etat."By Sunday, the capital
was rife with rumors of a planned coup.  Then President Rene Preval,
Aristide's protege and successor, assured people  Monday that "There's
no reason to fear." But he added, "all rumors should be taken seriously,
especially touching this subject."  Alexis moderated his tone Tuesday,
speaking neither of assassinations nor a coup.  A 1991 coup forced
then-President Aristide into exile until U.S. troops invaded to       
oust the military and restore him in 1994. Aristide, who disbanded
Haiti's army and replaced it with a civilian police force, is expected
to handily win Nov. 26  elections against seven little-known opponents. 

He was favored to win the elections against any comers, but the lack of
competition could raise questions about the legitimacy of any winner,
with possibly catastrophic economic consequences. More than 60 percent
of Haiti's budget is financed by donors who are threatening to cut aid
over the legislative elections. The United States and the European Union
question the count that gave 10 Senate seats to Aristide candidates. 
 Tuesday's talks came after opposition parties agreed to drop demands
that conditioned talks on Parliament being suspended and electoral
council members resigning. None of the party leaders attended. But
representatives of Aristide's party and opposition parties met together
with Alexis and foreign diplomats for six hours. "We want to resolve the
crisis. We're looking for a framework," said opposition politician Deus
Jean-Francois. "It's a tense and uncertain moment," OAS Assistant
Secretary-General Luigi  Einaudi said beforehand. Alexis said, "The
meeting took place, which is positive. But it has not yet satisfied the
expectations of the Haitian people."  The talks are supposed to continue