May 9, 2000

New political killing in Haiti raises doubts about elections

                  PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) -- Gunmen killed a rural leader of an
                  opposition party, his son, and another person in the latest spate of political
                  killings ahead of May and June elections, party members said Monday.

                  The unknown assailants shot and killed Elam Senat, his son Edner, and later
                  another individual Sunday night in the village of Savanette northeast of the capital
                  in Haiti's Center Department.

                  Senat was a local leader for the opposition Espace de Concertation coalition

                  During the weekend gunmen exploded a grenade into the home of an Espace de
                  Concertation candidate for parliament deputy in Fonds Verrettes, southeast of the
                  capital, party officials said. No injuries were reported.

                  Political killings and other violence have skyrocketed in the past month as Haiti
                  nears two rounds of legislative and municipal elections scheduled for May 21 and
                  June 25.

                  "The Espace de Concertation in Savanette ... is asking how the May 21 elections
                  can take place?" a local party member said on Radio Metropole.

                  The Espace party headquarters was burned down April 8, by protesters claiming
                  to be supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide following the funeral
                  of assassinated pro-government journalist Jean Dominique.

                  In Savanette in early April, unknown assailants shot and hacked to death a rural
                  assembly candidate of the Christian Movement for a New Haiti party and
                  attacked his daughter with a machete.

                  Upcoming elections are expected to re-establish parliament, which President
                  Rene Preval dissolved in January 1999 to end an 18-month political impasse.
                  Few politicians are actively campaigning. Most have run out of funds, or fear
                  political violence.

                  The United States led a multinational invasion to overthrow a military dictatorship
                  and restore Aristide to power in 1994.