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a675: BBC: Haiti's Aristide unperturbed by party scandals - radio(fwd)




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

Haiti's Aristide unperturbed by party scandals - radio
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Feb 7, 2002


[Announcer] Scandals are still spreading within the ruling party. But this
embarrassing situation does not seem to worry the head of state [President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide] at all. In the news conference that he gave on
Monday [4 February], President Aristide said he had no uncertainties about
the issues of corruption and impunity. Jean Numa Goudou reports the
following:
[Goudou - recording] Within the Lavalas regime scandals have been spreading
for quite some time. A week has not passed without Lavalas people denouncing
one another for the following at the microphone of the press, either to talk
about [suspected] fraud in city halls, in Hinche, Miragoane among many
others, the doubtful acquisition of a house for [former Prime Minister]
Jean-Marie Cherestal, of [alleged] embezzlement at the General Directorate
of Taxes [DGI], of senators involved in the rice affair, of colossal
expenses for presidential security. It even happens that they kill each
other, for example, in the case of Deputy Jocelyn Saint-Louis and Mayor
Fernand Severe in Saint-Raphael. And those scandals have being going on for
a long time already, and to some people it is due to the tolerance of the
principal Lavalas leader, who is in addition the promoter of the zero
tolerance formula. Jean-Bertrand Aristide answered as follows [on 4
February]:
[Aristide] //For some people it is yes, and for some it is no, and some
people can say that they do not know.//
[Goudou] But how can one explain the fact that all those scandals are taking
place within a regime that initially advocated participation, justice and
transparency? The FL leader explains his attitude.
[Aristide] //This is the choice that I make. I choose to protect democracy
and not to use antidemocratic principles.//
[Goudou] Those were the comments of the FL leader on the scandals that
tarnish his party and his image. By the way, Aristide says that he has no
image to recover. [End of recording]
Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 6 Feb 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.