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6041: Aristide set for new term -Financial Times (fwd)
From: radman <email@example.com>
Aristide set for new term
By Ft.com staff
November 27 2000
Jean-Betrand Aristide, Haiti's first freely elected president, looks set to
be returned to office five years after relinquishing power to Rene Preval,
his anointed successor.
The result of Sunday's national election was regarded as a largely foregone
conclusion, given an opposition field of six unknowns. A boycott of the
poll by the main opposition parties nevertheless makes it likely turnout
was well below the 60.5 per cent announced by the Provisional Electoral
Mr Preval did not stand, as the Haitian constitution forbids consecutive
terms of office for the president.
Sunday's vote appears to have passed mainly peacefully, after a violent
build-up. Nine bombs exploded in and around Port-au-Prince, the capital,
on Wednesday and Thursday, killing two people and injuring at least 16.
More bombs were discovered and at least three exploded over the weekend.
Doubt has also been cast over the validity of the vote by international
observers including the US, former colonial master France, and the
Organisation of American States.
US officials say the process of appointments to the provisional electoral
council, heavily weighted in favour of Mr Aristide's ruling Lavalas Family
Party, violated constitutional norms. Concerns have also been raised over
the election in May of Aristide supporters to virtually all Senate seats in
the country, which the US administration says was heavily tainted by fraud.
The main opposition parties on the Caribbean island boycotted Sunday's
vote, leaving six unknown candidates to oppose Mr Aristide's re-election.
They did not campaign in public for fear of attacks. On Friday Mr Aristide
made his first public appearance since registering to run for the
presidency on October 16, with a one-minute visit to the site of one of the
more from FT.com
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Police chiefs flee
Haiti may rue return of Aristide
Former police chief convicted of murder
more from the web
Organisation of American States: Human rights in Haiti