OAS head mediates talks in Haiti
The OAS has said that if the negotiations in Port-au-Prince succeed, it
free hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid suspended after flawed general
elections last year.
In Friday's talks, mediated by OAS Secretary-General Cesar Gaviria, the
only discussed security to avert violence during elections. They decided to talk
about which races should be rerun during Saturday's talks.
The two sides wanted to build trust by tackling "less difficult points
explained Sen. Yvon Neptune of the ruling Lavalas Family Party.
A previous round of talks broke down on July 3, when President Jean
Bertrand-Aristide's Lavalas party and the opposition failed to agree on which of
last year's contested races should be rerun. Both sides said the other was asking
for unacceptable concessions.
Gaviria is scheduled to leave Monday. He arrived Thursday on his third
three weeks to mediate talks.
Although Gaviria said he had "moderate expectations" an agreement would
reached, few share his optimism. Both sides entered negotiations with the same
positions that forced the last stalemate.
Lavalas swept more than 80 percent of some 7,000 elected posts last year.
15-party Convergence opposition alliance said the elections were rigged to favor
Aristide won his second, non-consecutive term in November elections
boycotted by opposition parties.
Convergence has agreed to accept the validity of Aristide's victory and
wins for one-third of the 27-seat Senate, but wants a rerun for all other local
and legislative seats.
Lavalas has repeatedly rejected that proposal, saying it would be like
coup toppling most of the elected government.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.