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#1581: Fanmi Lavalas unveils its program (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>

December 22, 1999 - January 4, 2000

Aristide unveils La Fanmi Lavalas' program
Haitian Times Staff

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Former President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, who is expected to run for president next
year, unveiled his party platform last Wednesday,
calling for a stronger partnership between the private
and public sectors. "When the private sector and
the public sector can create a partnership, then I
am sure our country will transform because
we will have started where we should start,
with human resource, dialogue and mutual
respect,'' Aristide said.

Aristide, a former priest, rose to the presidency as
the candidate of the poor in 1991. His anti-capitalist
declarations were viewed as threatening by Haiti's
small moneyed elite and fuelled Aristide's
overthrow by the Haitian army seven months
after he took office. Aristide was returned to
power by a U.S. led intervention force of
20,000 troops after three years in exile.

He handed over power to his close friend René
Préval in 1996 and is widely expected to make a
bid to return to the residency in December
2000 elections. Haiti will hold legislative and
municipal elections in March, its first national vote
in nearly three years. The last, in April
1997, was tainted by allegations of fraud
and provoked a lingering political crisis that
virtually paralysed the government.

A more accommodating Aristide spoke on
Wednesday before hundreds of entrepreneurs
and Haitian elite at the first national congress of

Aristide's political party, La Fanmi Lavalas.
Appearing to move away from his traditional
anti-privatisation anti-globalization stance,
Aristide said Haiti must take a ``third path''
approach to globalization. "Haiti cannot isolate
itself from the rest of the world,'' he said.
"The geo-economic reality must provoke a deep
reflection - to maintain equilibrium, maintain calm,
and find a middle way. This is what we call a
partnership between the two sectors, private
and public.''

The gathering was held at an upscale hotel in
Petionville, a hilly suburb of Port-au-Prince, where
Aristide presented a 182-page party platform
analysing problems and proposing solutions
in agriculture, education, health, industry,
infrastructure and other areas. The platform
was published in French, spoken by a small
percentage of Haitians, but was expected to
be translated into Creole, the language of
Haiti's poor majority, according to Aristide.

As Lavalas Family sought to build bridges
with Haiti's private sector, relations with the
party's grass-roots partisans appeared aggravated
recently in Port-au-Prince, the northern city of
Cap-Haïtien, and in the southeastern town of
Jacmel. Party members publicly protested the
leadership's move to bypass candidates chosen
at the grass-roots level in order to designate
candidates chosen by party leaders to register
recently for the legislative and municipal elections
scheduled for March 19. Some Lavalas Family
members blocked a Port-au-Prince street and
threw rocks in angry protest last week.

The Haitian Times
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