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8124: Haiti: Lavalas, Convergence spokesmen report continued , deadlock (fwd)

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

 1.   Haiti: Lavalas, Convergence spokesmen report continued deadlock

Haiti: Lavalas, Convergence spokesmen report continued deadlock
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; May 30, 2001

Text of report by Haitian Metropole radio on 30 May

Wednesday [30 May] will be a very busy day for OAS [Organization of American
States] Secretary-General Cesar Gaviria and Caricom [Caribbean Community]
representative Eugenia Charles. Gaviria, who is leading a joint OAS/CARICOM
mission, arrived in Port-au-Prince yesterday and will spend two days in the
country. This mission is considered very important for the resolution of the
crisis resulting from the 21 May [2000] elections. Gaviria and Charles will
meet the different protagonists today. They met President [Jean-Bertrand]
Aristide last night. The US ambassador invited the OAS delegation, together
with representatives of the Lavalas Family [FL], ministers of the Cherestal
government and members of the Democratic Convergence to a meeting last
night. In his speech, Ambassador Brian Dean Curran pleaded in favour of
tolerance and reconciliation within the political class.

Today will be a very long day for the OAS delegation, which is leaving the
country tomorrow. Tomorrow will also be a difficult day because the parties
have not changed their positions. We now have Senator Gerald Gilles of the
Lavalas Family on the phone.

[Unidentified journalist - recording] Senator Gilles, how far does FL want
to go regarding the concessions that should be made to resolve the crisis in

[Gilles] Allow me to say once again that on 21 May 2000 an election took
place with a large voter turnout. The OAS itself acknowledged that large
participation of the masses. Unfortunately, there was that counting problem
that Orlando Marvil [head of the OAS Observer Mission to Haiti] pointed out.
We are not hoping to make any other concession apart from the contested
posts. We know very well that the Haitian people will suffer from those
concessions, but we are obliged to do it just so that we can unblock the
political situation resulting from that electoral crisis.

[Journalist] But anyway, that decision was already taken by the FL without
any result because the international community is clear about its position
as well as the Convergence.

[Gilles] The international community, the OAS especially, knows very well
that there were problems with the counting method that was used. That is all
it is about. Unfortunately, the opposition once again sticks to its
extremist position in order not to unblock the situation.

[Journalist] I remember that the Lavalas foreign minister went very far on
that issue. Now it seems as if FL is going backwards.

[Gilles] No, no. Our position is not changed once the OAS understands the
situation, that is, that we are willing to make concessions on the contested
posts. The declaration that the foreign minister made on 14 March still
stands, that is, the reduction of the senators' terms. And it is not just
the sacrifice that should be noted, people should understand that we want to
normalize the electoral cycle in holding elections every two years for
elected representatives.

[Journalist] Thank you, Senator Gilles. We now have Micha Gaillard of the
Democratic Convergence on the phone.

Micha Gaillard, you have heard the statement of Senator Gilles of the FL. He
is very certain that the FL's position is explicit. They will not go further
than the 10 contested senatorial positions. Therefore, as far as the
Convergence is concerned, what concession are you willing to make?

[Gaillard] We have no concession to make because we do not hold anything.
Regarding the 21 May elections, the FL snagged everything illegally for
itself. Lavalas possesses all the state institutions, so we are not able to
make any concession. We have only our sense of responsibility and the right
to defend principles concerning the rule of law. In regard to the 21 May
elections, everybody remembers how the people voted for different political
sectors without making an exclusive choice for anybody in particular, and we
know what happened to the ballot boxes as the night began. We think our
fight for the defence of principles will continue.

Unfortunately, the inflexibility and the intransigence of Lavalas might
cause the country to endure the threat of sanctions. I want to emphasize for
Gerald Gilles that it is not the Convergence that will cause the
international community to impose sanctions on the country. Regardless of
the Convergence, civil society and the opposition, the international
community demands that a democratic context should develop in Haiti. And
that democratic context begins with the honest, peaceful and democratic
expression of the people's vote. Therefore, we will not be responsible if
Haiti is threatened with sanctions.

It is up to us to see how we are going to continue our fight in this new
climate of repression that has begun. I want to say that in our last meeting
with [provisional] President [Gerard] Gourgue to prepare for Luigi Einaudi's
visit, it was very clear, and we said it in a communique dated 28 May that
while continuing to claim the proposal made by President Gourgue on 1 May to
the Convergence, the Convergence takes into account the business sector's
proposal, which could be considered as a starting point within the framework
of a broader agenda during the negotiations. We make proposals regularly
because we have the capacity to think and to make proposals. But Lavalas
does not progress, which is unfortunate for Haiti, for this insensitivity
might do the country a lot of harm.

[Journalist] In the Convergence, are you going to accept that Lavalas

[Gaillard] How could we accept a proposal while the classical system of
authoritarianism remains in the hands of Lavalas? [words indistinct]. The
same causes produce the same effects. In other words, there would be other
elections like those of 21 May. There is no way we are going to accept that
proposal and we will clearly say it to the prestigious mission, which is now
in Haiti.

[Journalist] Thank you very much. [End of recording]

Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 30 May 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.