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8738: FROM CIP: Breakthrough Reported in Montana Hotel Talks (fwd)

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

July 17, 2001
Breakthrough Reported in Montana Hotel Talks


The two sides have agreed on a formula for formation of a new electoral
commission (CEP), a re-run of the elections of May 21, 2000, and the
security environment. Remaining points of disagreement are the political
environment and the date of the new elections. Lavalas wants them on two
occasions, legislative in November 2002 and local in May 2003 whereas the
Convergence wants them both in November 2002.

No clear date was set for resumption of negotiations on these points.

After three days of discussion at the Montana Hotel under the direction of
OAS secretary-general César Gaviria the protagonists did not reach a final
accord but made substantial advances toward one. Agreement was reached on a
commission on electoral guarantees, international cooperation, and security.
They agreed to continue the discussions on the other points with or without
the help of the international community. Agreement is still lacking on the
date of the proposed legislative and local elections. This according to
Prime Minister Cherestal is the main reason an agreement was not actually

Both sides agreed to elections to replace the lower house of parliament,
eighteen of the twenty-seven seats in the Senate and all local government
posts. Gérard Pierre-Charles said they agreed on an electoral council, but
are still divided over dates.

According to a report by Radio Métropole, if a political accord is reached
the "May 21 senators" including Yvon Neptune , Gérald Gilles , Dany
Toussaint, Fourel Célestin, Yvon Feuillé, Joseph Médard, Lans Clonès, and
Prince Pierre Sonson would immediately leave the senate. Only the nine
senators elected on November 26, 2000 would stay if the Convergence position
prevails, which is that the other senators would leave on signature of an

Similarly, according to the same source, the members of the Chamber of
Deputies would all leave on signature of the accord. The radio station says
this would leave up in the air the question of who would get the twelve
four-wheel drive vehicles assigned to the lower chamber, which the "May 21"
representatives use to get around their districts and touch base with their

The information about the senators' and representatives' immediate leaving
on signature of an accord remains to be confirmed.