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7220: Haiti President Appoints Council (fwd)

From: nozier <nozier@tradewind.net>

 Haiti President Appoints Council
The Associated Press, Fri 2 Mar 2001
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) ? In a concession to the Haitian opposition,
President Jean-Bertrand  Aristide on Friday appointed a new electoral
council to replace one accused of rigging legislative elections in favor
of his party.
 Aristide said the new electoral council would organize runoffs for 10
Senate seats won by candidates of  his Lavalas Family Party, but gave no
date for the voting. ``The opposition and Lavalas need each other, so
that democracy can flourish and bear fruit,'' said Aristide, who was
inaugurated Feb. 7 after winning November's presidential elections with
92 percent of  the vote.
 The main opposition parties boycotted the presidential election,
alleging that legislative elections in May were rigged to give 10
first-round Senate victories to Lavalas candidates. Elections observers
from the Organization of American States agreed that the races should
have gone to second round runoffs. Despite his announcement, opposition
leaders insisted they would not reconcile with Aristide, whom  they
accuse of instituting a creeping dictatorship. `Before new elections can
be organized, last year's elections, including Aristide's, have to be
nullified,'' said opposition spokesman Evans Paul. The opposition has
rejected all past offers to join an Aristide government and has named an
``alternative'' president.  As a result of the vote fraud allegations,
international donors have suspended or redirected hundreds of  millions
of dollars in development aid to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in
the world. Having the aid reinstated is one of the new government's main
priorities.  The new nine-member electoral council includes two Aristide
supporters and no members of the 15-party opposition alliance,
 It includes independent former bureaucrats and four former supporters
of former dictator Jean-Claude  Duvalier. These include Volvick Remy
Joseph, a Duvalier health minister, and Duvalier's former chief of
protocol, Yves Massillon. Duvalier was ousted from power in 1986.