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a489: BBC: The Democratic Convergence has reversed its decisionnot to contest the 26 November 2000 presidential election. (fwd)

From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

Haiti: Radio Metropole highlights 1145 gmt 25 Jan 02
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jan 26, 2002

2. The Democratic Convergence has reversed its decision not to contest the
26 November 2000 presidential election. The opposition maintains that future
discussions should include the 2000 electoral process. The Convergence has
based its decision on the events of July and December and on the corruption
that surrounds the management of the ruling party. (4 min)
3. The 15 countries of the EU have decided to maintain the suspension of EU
financial aid to Haiti until a political agreement is reached between the
current regime and the Democratic Convergence. According to the Spanish
ambassador, the EU countries are ready to release about 350m dollars to
Haiti once the crisis is resolved. In a communique made public in Brussels,
the EU underscores that the democratic principles have not yet been
re-established in Haiti following the contested 21 May 2000 elections. The
EU specifies that it does not want to penalize the Haitian population and
will continue its support for the cooperation programmes that are not
affected by the retaliatory measures that were adopted. (4 min)
4. The French Government has encouraged the protagonists of the Haitian
crisis to conclude an agreement to get the country out of the impasse. In
Port-au-Prince, French Ambassador Yves Gaudeuil said that Paris firmly
supports the latest OAS resolution on the crisis. Gaudeuil said: "We
continue to support the OAS, and we hope that the resolution adopted on 15
January will be applied completely and under good conditions." (1 min)
6. The Lavalas Family, FL, is attempting to take stock of the rice scandal,
which is becoming more and more embarrassing for the ruling party. During a
press conference yesterday, the party's spokesman acknowledged the regime's
involvement in the case of the Peace Rice business. Jonas Petit explained
that the rice was ordered through the Pou Nou Tout cooperative so that the
price of rice on the local market would drop. However, Petit did not specify
how the cooperative obtained the financial resources to purchase the rice.
The FL spokesman said the press and the businessmen should be held
responsible for the outcry over what is being called the rice scandal. (4
7. It should be noted that the specialized state institutions are not
involved in the rice business that was entrusted to the cooperative Pou Nou
Tout by the Lavalas power. The FL or the presidency has not issued any
communique on the issue, while the head of state said that transparency was
one of the foundations of the current government. (1 min)
8. A group of senators is leading the investigation of this scandal, in
which the parliament is also implicated. The investigation will focus also
on the decision by Senator Victor Magloire to put a Senate employee in
prison at Fort National. (2 min)
10. The Democratic Convergence wants President Aristide to show transparency
in the rice scandal, which involves Lavalas parliamentarians and the
Aristide Foundation for Democracy. In a statement issued on 24 January, the
main opposition coalition asks the head of state to explain about the
alleged embezzlement of about 117m gourdes by his partisans to the detriment
of the Haitian state. (3 min) [translating]
11. The residents of Cite Soleil are complaining about the persistent
violence in the country's biggest shantytown. They want the president to
restore peace to the area. According to one resident, eight people have been
killed and several others have been injured; 42 houses have been destroyed,
and 23 others have been burnt down. (2 min)
12. The Haitian National Police, PNH, is reviewing the best strategy to
adopt to regain control of the situation in Cite Soleil. PNH spokesman Jean
Dady Simeon declares that the return to order in Cite Soleil will require
the disarmament of the rival groups. (2 min)
17. Guest economist Jean-Claude Polvin discusses the Lavalas cooperative
that manages rice imports, which has caused a scandal among the Lavalas
party. Polvin explains that that illegal business does not help the national
economy and will definitely hurt rice production in the Artibonite area. (22
Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 25 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.