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8193: President Aristide's Letter to Roberto Rojas of Costa Rica (fwd)

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


OEA/Ser.P June3, 2001 AG/doc.260/01

San JosÚ, Costa Rica



Jean Bertrand Aristide President

Dear Minister Rojas,

I wish to extend to you and all members of the XXXI General
Assembly of the Organization of American States my personal
greetings and to submit to you a special message and request of
utmost importance.

I would like to thank everyone involved in making possible the
Joint Organization of American States and Caribbean Community
Mission headed by Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria and Dame
Eugenia Charles. My interactions with them throughout this mission
have been fruitful and encouraging.

The current political impasse in Haiti has had the effect of impeding
the development of the country and muted my fellow citizens' hopes
for a more prosperous future. It is my fervent wish that with the
assistance of the international community, Haiti will soon emerge
from this difficult moment and move forward toward economic
and social progress.

With a view toward an end to the impasse, I wish to outline five
elements which I am confident will foster an end to this situation.
I urge the international community to support this initiative as
symbol of its solidarity with a burgeoning democracy.

1. I am now in a position to inform you that the seven contested
Senators have resigned as evidence of their patriotic commitment
to ending the electoral controversy surrounding the May 21, 2000

2. I commit to appoint a new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)
by June 25, 2001. This CEP would be composed of nine members
nominated by the Executive, Judiciary, political parties -- including
the Convergence, Fanmi Lavalas, and other political parties -- and
churches, both Catholic and Protestant.

I will uphold the integrity of the new CEP as a functionally
independent entity. It should be clear that if any of the above
groups fail to nominate its assigned member(s), the undesignated
member(s) would be selected from among the other sectors
identified above.

3. The new CEP will, after appropriate consultations, set the date
for elections of the contested seats in the Senate and proceed to
organize these elections in a timely manner. I am convinced that it
would be in the country's best interest if the elections to fill the
vacated seats were to occur before the end of the year 2001, and
would encourage this result.

4. The new CEP would also organize early elections to replace all
members of Parliament elected May 21, 2000, in accordance with
the government's proposal outlined at the March 14, 2001, session
of the OAS Permanent Council, the terms of the parliamentarians
elected on May 21, 2000 would be reduced by two years, in order
to regularize the cycle of renewal for the seats in the Haitian
Parliament as provided for in the Constitution. Finally, the CEP
would organize complementary elections that are necessary to
bring about the establishment of a Permanent Electoral Council.

To increase confidence in these measures, I seek your support
for the establishment of a Special OAS/CARICOM Mission whose
mandate would be to facilitate dialogue with civil society and
political parties, and to strengthen democratic institutions. The
mission's functions would include the observation of human rights
conditions and support for the proper functioning of the electoral
process, including freedom of expression and security for all

It is my sincere belief that as an integral part of this solution, the
Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community
should undertake to help normalize relations between Haiti and
international financial institutions. The release of much needed
international financial assistance would permit Haiti's economic
development, which will in turn strengthen the democratic process.
On behalf of all Haitians, I urge you to support these five elements
and recognize them as a thoughtful and thorough resolution to
this impasse.

I look forward to our continued cooperation in bringing about social
and economic progress in Haiti.

Kindest regards,

Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Minister Roberto Rojas L., Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship,
President of the XXXI General Assembly of the Organization of
American States, San JosÚ, Costa Rica