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7754: Highlights of Radio Galaxie news (fwd)




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

 1.   Haiti: Highlights of Radio Galaxie news 1800 gmt 2 May 01


Haiti: Highlights of Radio Galaxie news 1800 gmt 2 May 01
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; May 3, 2001

>From "The World at the 1300 Thermometer" news programme; figures in brackets
indicate times in minutes elapsed since start of programme

There is a new form of insecurity in Port-au-Prince: kidnapping. Yesterday
an Arab businessman and his wife, a member of the Arab-Haitian community,
were kidnapped and released in exchange for payment. Also yesterday, the
Haitian director of a computer company, Jonas Guillaume, was kidnapped by
armed bandits who are demanding payment in dollars for his release. The
judiciary has set up a crisis centre to deal with this new form of
insecurity.

Lawyer Gerard Dalvius, leader of the Alternative Party For the Development
of Haiti (PADH), was arrested this morning as he entered his law office. He
was brought to the central police station in Port-au-Prince. He was arrested
for responsibility in events that took place in Carrefour-Marin. A summons
had been issued for his arrest last month after the peaceful march of the
former armed forces. One of his lawyers, Reynold Georges, called the arrest
a political manoeuvre by the Lavalas government aimed at destabilizing the
movement of the demobilized military.

The Presidential Press Office affirms that everything is ready for
tomorrow's meeting at the National Palace with political parties and civil
society representatives. Spokesman Jacques Maurice also affirmed that
invitations have gone out to the member parties of the Democratic
Convergence. The Convergence, meanwhile, affirms that it will not attend the
meeting.

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide yesterday reiterated his call for dialogue.
He encouraged the opposition political coalition and civil society to attend
the meeting at the National Palace in order to get the country out of the
crisis. Former Senator Paul Denis of the Struggling People's Organization
(OPL) expressed doubts about the president's will to negotiate with the
opposition. He said that the call for dialogue is another deception for
international consumption. He added that there is no question of
participating unless the conditions are defined and the agenda is set in
advance.

The National Democratic Progressive Party of Haiti (PNDPH) acknowledges
receipt of the invitation to tomorrow's meeting. The PNDPH, however,
deplores the fact that the meeting appears to be focused only on the
post-electoral crisis, because the PNDPH did not participate in the 2000
elections. The party also expressed confusion about the purpose of the
meeting since there seems to be conflicting statements in the press, by
government officials, and in the invitation itself. The PNDPH will not
participate in the meeting because it is not a party to the election
conflict, and because of the climate of intimidation against the opposition
through arrests.

Provisional President Gerard Gourgue called on the people to mobilize to
reflect on the current crisis. He said that the Democratic Convergence will
fight to the end for serious negotiations that will lead to a solution of
the post-electoral crisis.

Gerard Blot of the Alternative for Change (AC) said that the integration of
all opposition parties at the meeting tomorrow is a good thing. He added
that holding the meeting at the National Palace poses no problem for the AC.

Lavalas members of Petit-Goave praised Aristide's initiative to invite all
parties to negotiate and downplayed the nonparticipation of the Convergence.

Paul Denis's lawyers continue to look into whether the former senator will
have to answer the examining judge's summons for 7 May. The lawyers believe
that the summons is flawed because it does not specify a reason for the
summons. However, they do not discard the possibility of appearing in court
in order to learn what Denis is being charged with. Paul Denis views the
summons as a government effort to destabilize the opposition.

President Aristide in his speech yesterday in Jacmel reminded local
officials that they must not mistreat citizens or strike anyone. They must
respect citizens, he said.

Festivities were held yesterday in various cities of the country to
commemorate Labour and Agriculture Day. The presidential delegation spent
the day in Jacmel. The president attended the mass led by Mgr Hubert
Constant, president of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti. President Aristide
encouraged peasants to participate in cooperative projects, which he said
are the best way for peasants to make progress on development and change.

Meanwhile, in his speech for the holiday, Provisional President Gourgue
lambasted Aristide for his demagogic attitude. He said that instead of
celebrating labour, the country is suffering from unemployment, misery, and
shame. Aristide promised that 2001 would be better, but things are going
from bad to worse. Gourgue stated that the occupants of the National Palace
do not seem to care about the suffering of the people.

The minister of social affairs, Pierre Richard Pierre, delivered tools
yesterday to peasants in Mirebalais.

Several hundred members of the party of Lydie and Clark Parent, the Haitian
Democratic Party (PADEMH), held a peaceful march in front of the OAS office
in Petion-Ville today to demand a stronger response from the OAS towards the
de facto Aristide government.

Source: Radio Galaxie, Port-au-Prince, in French 1800 gmt 2 May 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC