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8206: Aristide--new elections (fwd)

From: Karen Davis <kdavis@marygrove.edu>

>From the New York Times:

Aristide Proposes Elections, but His Opposition Rejects Them 

      June 6, 2001
      Aristide Proposes Elections, but His Opposition Rejects Them
      By REUTERS
      ORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, June 5 (Reuters) - President Jean-Bertrand
      of Haiti has promised to hold elections to resolve a yearlong
      impasse, but his political opposition said today that it would not
      the proposal.
      In a letter to the Organization of American States, Mr. Aristide said
      proposed new legislative elections and runoffs were aimed at ending a
      caused by a May 2000 election that set the governing Lavalas Family
      and opposition parties at odds and resulted in the suspension of $500 
      million in foreign aid.
      Earlier today, it looked as if the opposition might negotiate with
      after the police released a detained politician, and seven senators 
      stepped down from their posts in a gesture to help break the
      But opposition leaders said they were angered that Mr. Aristide had
      consulted them on how to break the logjam. 
      An O.A.S. observer mission said last year that Haiti's electoral
      had used an incorrect method of calculating winning vote percentages
      the May 2000 election, handing Lavalas 10 Senate seats that should
      gone to runoffs.
      Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is trying to establish a 
      stable democracy after decades of dictatorship and military rule. 
      But Mr. Aristide's party has been at loggerheads with the opposition
      the May 2000 legislative election. The opposition Democratic
      is a 15-party alliance made up of former Aristide supporters and
      government officials of the Duvalier dictatorship, which was ousted by
      military in 1986. Last November, Convergence boycotted the
      election, which returned Mr. Aristide to power.
      Mr. Aristide and the opposition agreed to meet two weeks ago, but the 
      detention of an opposition figure, Gabriel Fortune, prompted
      to demand his release before starting talks. Despite his release and
      resignation of the senators, the standoff continued. 
      Mr. Aristide also told the O.A.S. that he would form a new electoral 
      council including Convergence members before June 25, that he would 
      schedule runoffs for the seven vacant Senate seats before the end of
      year and that he would organize elections to replace all Parliament 
      members elected in the vote a year ago, cutting their terms by two

      Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company | Privacy Information   

Karen F. Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Head of Humanities Department
Marygrove College
Detroit, Michigan 48221 USA
Telephone: 313-927-1352
email: kdavis@marygrove.edu