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5883: Teenager Killed in Haiti... (fwd)
Wednesday November 22 1:42 PM ET
Teenager Killed in Haiti Pre-Election Violence
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Explosions in the Haitian capital on
Wednesday killed a teenage boy and injured others as
the poor Caribbean nation headed toward presidential elections this
weekend, police said.The blasts rocked downtown Port-au-Prince and the
suburbs of Petionville and Delmas, police spokesman Jean-Dady
Simeon said. ``We are working on the situation now,'' he added.
The nation of about 7.8 million holds its presidential election on
Sunday and former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who
first rose to power in a landslide election in 1990, is expected to win
easily because opposition parties plan to boycott the
vote.Aristide, a former Roman Catholic priest, was ousted in a military
coup seven months after he took office in 1991. AU.S.-led invasion
restored him to power three years later, and his protege, Rene Preval,
assumed the presidency in 1996. Random violence has been escalating in
the capital in the run up to the election.A United Nations (news - web
sites) vehicle was riddled with bullets last Thursday in Gonaives, a
city north of the capital that was the site of a recent trial of 37
high-ranking former military officers, including the leaders of the 1991
coup that ousted Aristide, who were convicted in absentia of murder.
On Saturday, the State Department urged Americans not to visit Haiti and
advised relatives of U.S. officials to leave because of increasing
violence surrounding the elections. Three of seven presidential
candidates withdrew from the race in protest at preelection violence.
They allege that Haiti's electoral council is stacked in favor of
Aristide's ruling party Lavalas Family.Opposition parties are boycotting
the vote in protest at the disputed results of legislative elections in
May. According to international observers, elections officials
miscalculated the results in favor of candidates from Aristide's party.
The United States, Canada, and the European Union (news - web sites)
decided not to send foreign aid or observers to the election because the
Haitian government refused to retabulate the votes.
Again provoking criticism, Haitian authorities are using the same
electoral council to monitor Sunday's elections. In addition to the
presidency, nine senate seats will be at stake.