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5401: Unknowns Oppose Haiti's Aristide (fwd)
Monday October 30 10:11 PM ET
Unknowns Oppose Haiti's Aristide
By MICHAEL NORTON, Associated Press Writer
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haiti's electoral council on Monday
announced a definitive list of candidates for the presidential
election, showing former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide running
against six unknowns. The ballot lineup almost certainly guaranteed a
landslide for Aristide, 47, which could raise questions about the
legitimacy of the election. The announcement was made amid doubts that
the vote will be held Nov. 26 as planned. The electoral council did not
announce the date for the opening of the campaign, and last week
President Rene Preval said technical difficulties may force the election
to be postponed until mid-December.
``We cannot condition the elections on a political agreement,'' said
Preval, Aristide's protege and hand-picked successor. But whatever the
date, he added, he would step down Feb. 7 as scheduled. All Haiti's
main opposition parties are boycotting the election to protest alleged
fraud in local and legislative balloting earlier this year that gave
Aristide's party more than 80 percent of offices.
The international community objected to the method used to calculate 10
Senate seats given to Aristide candidates. The United States and the
European Union have threatened to cut aid as a result, which
could prove detrimental to the impoverished Caribbean nation.
Preval has accused them of interfering in an internal matter.
The United States and the United Nations (news - web sites) have refused
to give funds and technical assistance for the presidential elections.
Aristide's opponents are:
- Businessman Calixte Dorisca, 49, an independent candidate who
shuttles between homes in New York City and Port-au-Prince.
- Teacher and engineer Jacques Philippe Dorce, 54, whose
great-grandfather was president of Haiti in 1878-79.
- Protestant pastor Arnold Dumas, 62, who won less than 1 percent of
the vote in 1995.
_ Computer scientist Paul Arthur Fleurival, 43, whose father
participated in a foiled coup attempt against Aristide in 1991.
- Politician and former army officer Evans Nicolas, 46, from the small
right-wing Union for National Reconstruction.
- Sociologist and human rights militant Serge Sylvain, 48, an