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26291: (news) Chamberlain: UN-General Assembly-Haiti (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By MICHELLE FAUL
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 19 (AP) -- Despite bouts of violence and a climate
bordering on chaos, elections in November should return the long-troubled
Caribbean nation of Haiti to democracy, the country's interim president
Still, he said, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere will need
international help "to emerge from the miasma of underdevelopment, extreme
poverty and squalor ... (imposed under) the bedrock of all dictatorships."
President Boniface Alexandre also appealed to nearby nations where
Haitians have sought refuge to resolve tensions that have led to attacks.
He appeared to be referring to neighboring Dominican Republic, where
months of tensions and deportations of thousands of Haitians reached new
heights last month when three Haitian immigrants were burned alive.
Nov. 6 elections would replace Haiti's first democratically elected
leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted in a February 2004
rebellion. The United States and France sent troops to restore order and
installed an interim government now supported by a U.N. peacekeeping force.
"The elections will be completely inclusive, all sectors and all
political parties will be included in the vote," Alexandre told the
But critics say that hundreds of Aristide supporters and officials have
been detained for months and the candidate of Aristide's Lavalas Family
party, the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, was detained July 21 and officials have
refused to register him as a presidential candidate, even though he has not
"I continue to be hopeful that the election campaign will take place in
a peaceful climate," Alexandre said. "For months now the country has been
living in a climate bordering on chaos. Armed gangs have been holding a
number of parts of the capital hostage."
Hundreds of people have died since Aristide militants and armed gangs
loyal to the ousted leader stepped up a campaign to demand his return from
exile in South Africa.