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6064: Haiti's Aristide Wins Overwhelmingly in Election (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Wednesday November 29 7:31 PM ET
Haiti's Aristide Wins Overwhelmingly in Election 
By Trenton Daniel

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, as
expected, won an overwhelming mandate to return to lead the impoverished
Caribbean nation in a virtually uncontested presidential election on
Sunday, according to official results issued on Wednesday. Aristide, a
popular former Roman Catholic priest, scooped up 92 percent of 2.87
million votes cast, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) said.      
Haiti has 4 million registered voters.Aristide ran against six
little-known candidates in an election boycotted by Haiti's opposition
parties, who refused to take part because of alleged irregularities in
May parliamentary elections in the nation of 7.8 million people.
 Arnold Dumas, a Protestant pastor, came in second with 2.04 percent of
the vote. The remaining five candidates, including three who withdrew
from the race but whose names remained on the ballots, drew less than 2
percent of the vote, according to the CEP figures.Aristide was swept to
power with a landslide victory 10 years ago in the poorest country in
the Americas after spearheading a grass-roots movement that helped
topple decades of dictatorship and military rule.His term was cut short
seven months later after a bloody coup sent him into exile. A U.S.-led
invasion of 20,000 troops returned Aristide to power three years later.
Haiti's constitution prevented Aristide from running for a consecutive
second term and in 1996 he passed the mantle to his protege, Rene
Preval.Official turnout figures released earlier in the week have been
disputed by opposition parties, which estimated turnout in Sunday's
election at less than five percent nationwide.The United States, Canada,
and the European Union (news - web sites)refused to send observers after
Haiti declined to reexamine tainted results from the May parliamentary