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6427: Events in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

(from Caribbean Insight newsletter)

(22 Dec 00)

The opposition Convergence Démocratique (CD) announced on December 13 it
would set up an "alternative alliance" (Front Alternatif) to "bar the road
to a dictatorship" under President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who is due
to take office on February 7.   The CD accused Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas
(FL) party of having carried out an "electoral coup d'etat harmful to
democratic pluralism and the country stability and interests."  
        It said it would try to put together a government programme and
name a broad-based group of people to apply it.  CD officials spoke later
of forming an alternative "legitimate" government and one said the FL would
be invited to be part of it.  Prime minister Jacques Édouard Alexis called
the project "crazy."
        Meanwhile, a senior FL member of the presidential transition team,
Jean-Marie Chérestal, said the team was discussing "how to restore
confidence in the country and its leaders."  The archbishop of
Port-au-Prince, Mgr Serge Miot, said all Haitians were responsible for the
present political situation and appealed for new efforts to resolve it.
        The government sent a revised budget bill (for 2000-2002) to
parliament on December 13 to replace the 1996 budget that has been rolled
over every year since due to the parliamentary deadlock.  The new budget
totals 10.6 billion gourdes ($500 million), 22% lower than the 1996 figure.
 However the amount earmarked for the presidency rose from 155 million
gourdes ($7 million) to 600 million ($27 million).
        Parliament meanwhile ratified five long-pending foreign loan
agreements totalling about $200 million and concerning health, education,
water supply and roads and 
        A radio sports journalist, Gérard Denoze, of the station Radio
Plus, was murdered by gunmen in Port-au-Prince on December 15.  He had
earlier received death threats.