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25726: Craig (pub) Council: Bar Aristide Party From Election (fwd)
From: Dan Craig (email@example.com)
Council: Bar Aristide Party From Election
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 16, 2005
*Filed at 8:09 p.m. ET*
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A U.S.-backed advisory council that oversees
Haiti's interim government recommended Saturday that ousted President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's political party be barred from upcoming elections,
accusing the party of encouraging violence.
The seven-member Council of Sages, which picked the interim government, accused
Aristide's Lavalas Family Party of promoting violence, including the slaying of
a well-known Haitian journalist whose body was found with signs of torture
"Political groups who identify themselves with the Lavalas Family Party, and
particularly with Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, continue to promote and tolerate
violence," the council said.
The council urged the interim government to "make the bold political and
beneficial decision to disqualify the Lavalas Family Party from the electoral
But Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council indicated that all political parties
would be welcome in the October and November elections.
"The election is for all political parties of Haiti," said electoral council
spokesman Rosemond Pradel.
Lavalas is Haiti's most organized political force, with much of its support
coming from sprawling slums in Port-au-Prince. Aristide was ousted in a bloody,
three-week rebellion in February 2004.
Lavalas party members, who have said they will boycott the elections unless
Aristide returned from exile in South Africa, have denied involvement in
violence that has killed more than 700 people in the capital of Port-au-Prince
U.N. peacekeepers have intensified offensives against armed pro- and anti-
Aristide gangs, who dominate parts of the capital's slums.
Lavalas leader Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a Roman Catholic priest who is
considering running for president, said the interim government feared Aristide
supporters would win the elections.
"They are scared of us," Jean-Juste said. "They are afraid we are going to
Jean-Juste, whose sermons electrify worshippers who have urged him to run for
president, said he would consider doing so if his party asked.
"I will consider it, but it is not my intention to run for president," the