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7829: Events in Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

(10 May 01)

Business, professional, religious and other civil society groups, along
with minor political groups, met President Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the
presidential palace on 3 May to try to solve the political deadlock.  The
meeting was boycotted by the opposition Convergence Démocratique (CD)
coalition, who also said they would not attend a second round of
discussions Aristide set for 9 May at the National Museum, as it was still
not neutral ground and was, according to some CD leaders, too close to the
presidential palace.  
        The CD-appointed "provisional president," Gérard Gourgue, announced
on 3 May a new seven-point proposal for a settlement, in which he called
for a re-run of last May's parliamentary elections, but no longer for the
annulment of the November presidential election won by Aristide.  
        Claudy Gassant, the judge investigating last year's murder of
prominent radio journalist Jean Dominique, said on 8 May he might resign
because the government was not giving him enough protection from continual
threats and harassment from armed police and others.  He said that despite
promises by justice minister Gary Lissade, his protection had been reduced
and that the vehicles at his disposal had been cut from four to one.
        Kidnappers freed the Canadian-Haiti owner of a Pétionville
cybercafé, Jonas Guillaume, on 4 May after holding him for four days until
$70,000 in ransom money was paid.  An Ivorian journalist, Abdoulaye
Guédéouengué, was kidnapped in Port-au-Prince on 7 May by armed masked men.
        President Aristide launched a five-year plan on 7 May to fight
Haiti's high incidence AIDS.