PORT-AU-PRINCE -- (AP) -- U.S. Ambassador Timothy Michael Carney says
swift, credible legislative elections are the only way to halt Haiti's latest political
Haiti has been without a prime minister since June 1997. On Monday, after
combative Parliament rejected four of President Rene Preval's nominees for the
position, the president announced he would bypass Parliament and form a new
government by decree.
Carney said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press that the crisis
to be ended quickly.
``The need now is to advance toward credible elections as fast as possible
what the will of the Haitian people is, to get them out of the political impasse,''
Opponents charge that Preval is leading Haiti back to dictatorship, and
fears of a resurgence of the violence that long plagued the country.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, has suffered through
and civilian dictatorships for most of the past two centuries.
In 1990, more than 95 percent of voters turned out in the country's first
democratic elections and chose as president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, then a Roman
Catholic priest, who had helped end the 29-year Duvalier family dictatorship.
The army ousted Aristide the following year and ruled until President Clinton
20,000 troops to the country in September 1994 to restore democracy.
Legislative elections in 1995 failed to draw 50 percent of voters, and
ballot six months later, won by Preval, had a turnout of less than 30 percent.
The April 1997 elections drew only about 5 percent of voters and were
condemned by several international observers as fraudulent. Plans to hold new
elections in November 1998 crumbled.
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