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5942L Haiti's Parliament Confirms Premier (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Friday November 24 11:35 PM ET
Haiti's Parliament Confirms Premier 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - The parliament has confirmed
Jacques-Edouard Alexis as Haiti's premier, 20 months after he was
appointed to the post by presidential decree. The 83-member lower house
approved Alexis shortly before midnight Thursday. The senate approved
his appointment the day before. Alexis was named to the office President
Rene Preval during a period of political upheaval stemming from an
election dispute.  Haiti has not had a constitutional government since
June 1997, when Premier Rosny Smarth resigned,protesting tainted
legislative elections won by candidates of former President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's Lavalas Family party. In December 1998,
parliament declared Alexis eligible to become premier, but the former
majority party of parliamentary refused to confirm him until the results
of the 1997 elections were overturned. Preval ended the deadlock in
January 1999 by locking lawmakers out of parliament. He appointed       
Alexis in March 1999, with the mission to create conditions favorable
for the holding of new elections. Alexis will run the government until a
new president is inaugurated Feb. 7.The country's presidential elections
are Sunday, with Aristide expected to win handily over a handful of     
little-known candidates. Major opposition parties have boycotted the
vote, claiming that May parliamentary and local elections were rigged by
Preval and other Aristide supporters. Aristide's party won 80 percent of
the seats. Tensions have grown in Haiti in the days leading up to the
presidential vote, with nine pipe bombs exploding around Port-au-Prince
over the past week, killing two and injuring at least 16 people.