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7362: Events in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

(from Caribbean Insight)

(15 Mar 01)

New elections for the Chamber of Deputies will be held a year early, in
November next year, foreign minister Antonio Joseph announced to a meeting
of the Organisation of American States (OAS) permanent council in
Washington on March 14.  The government was seeking a "definitive solution"
to the country's political deadlock, he said, and would also welcome a
permanent OAS commission to be sent to Haiti to strengthen democracy.  The
opposition Convergence Démocratique (CD) coalition sent two delegates to
the meeting, but they were not allowed to speak.
        The Centre for Free Enterprise and Democracy (CLED) had called on
March 7 for new parliamentary elections to be held within a year, along
with appointment of a new government and elections council through
agreement with the opposition.  The private sector group also urged
parliament in the meantime to reduce its activities to a minimum.  The US
and France expressed support for the CLED initiative.
        Meanwhile, the CD's "alternative president," Gérard Gourgue,
repeated on March 9 his call for the "noble institution" of the army to be
revived.  If the army was so useless, he said, the statues of the country's
military founding fathers should be pulled down.  Presenting an account of
what he described as his first month in office, he said he had appointed
foreign ambassadors as well as committees in various fields, though he gave
no names.  Hundreds of pro-government supporters demonstrated in
Port-au-Prince on March 13 calling for Gourgue and other CD leaders to be