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5474: Events in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Prime minister Jacques Édouard Alexis said on November 4 that the
government was still willing to discuss the electoral crisis with the
opposition, while the assistant secretary-general of the Organisation of
American States, Luigi Einaudi, said he was ready to return to
Port-au-Prince to mediate such talks. 
        But he said he would need "some very specific private assurances"
from both sides before going ahead.  The "worst option," he said, would be
for the election to be held in the face of the opposition's declared
boycott, since the international community would then probably abandon
Haiti.  T
        The election campaign officially started on October 31, a month
late.  Polling for the presidency and nine Senate seats is scheduled for
November 26.
        Six people were wounded when supporters of former President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas (FL) fired on an opposition meeting
in Hinche on November 2, burned two cars and a house and seriously wounded
the agronomist brother of former Aristide ally Chavannes Jean-Baptiste,
leader of the dominant local political grouping, the Mouvement Paysan de
        In Port-au-Prince, gangsters shot dead four people on November 3 as
they waited for a bus.  FL members of parliament said the attack, along
with other recent violence, was part of a plot by "enemies of democracy" to
sow panic before the elections, while opposition leaders blamed the FL for
widespread intimidation of their supporters.
        All seven of the police officers who fled Haiti to the Dominican
Republic amid coup rumours last month have been given asylum in Ecuador.  A
Haitian-born US citizen, Roger Alteri, a relative of one of them, was
arrested in Haiti after he drove them to the border.
        Eleven people were killed and more than 20,000 homes destroyed or
damaged by flooding after heavy rains in northern Haiti on November 1 and