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6975: A TROUBLED BEGINNING (fwd)
From: nozier <email@example.com>
Published Thursday, February 8, 2001, in the Miami Herald
EDITORIAL--- Aristide returns to power in Haiti under a cloud.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide regained the reins of power yesterday with high
from most of the populace that, finally, Haiti's long-awaited
revitalization will begin.
But if Mr. Aristide is to succeed -- and we fervently hope that he does
-- he must
quickly attend to issues that challenge the legitimacy of his rule.
Therein lies the
key that can unlock the door to his success.
The outpouring of support that greeted Mr. Aristide during yesterday's
ceremony was impressive testimony to his popularity, especially among
masses of poor who embraced wholeheartedly the former priest's campaign
slogan: ``Peace in the belly; peace in the mind.'' Mr. Aristide clearly
the spirit of the people.
His victory places him among only a few Haitian leaders since French
rule 200 years ago to be democratically elected. The Haitian people can
pride in that and in the fact that the transfer of power to Mr.
President René Preval was peacefully conferred.
But the glow of this victory will fade quickly if Mr. Aristide can't
deliver on his
promises. He takes office isolated from the international community --
he must draw financial and technical support -- and facing a coalition
opponents determined to form an ``alternative'' government.
The controversy stems from elections last May in which the opposition
contend that the ballots for parliamentary seats were miscounted,
resulting in Mr.
Aristide's Lavalas Family Party gaining more seats that it actually
won. In protest,
the opposition parties sat out the presidential election. They were
joined in their
demands for an accurate recalculation of the votes by the international
community, including the United States. Worse, the United States and
countries have withdrawn hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and
desperately needed for recovery.
Thus far, meetings between Lavalas and opposition party members have
resolve differences. The opposition demands a power-sharing role, while
Aristide sticks to earlier offers that stop at including opposition
members in his
government and reforming the electoral council.
To succeed, Mr. Aristide first must find a remedy to the political
then will his plea for foreign help find receptive ears.