May 12, 2000

Haitian election campaign manager fatally shot

                  PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- In the latest violent incident before Haiti's
                  long-delayed May 21 local and parliamentary elections, three unidentified gunmen
                  shot and killed a provincial election campaign manager, a political leader said

                  The gunmen shot Branord Sanon three times at dawn, when he was looking for
                  a taxi in Port-au-Prince, said senate candidate Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue,
                  a prominent member of Sanon's party.

                  Sanon was going to Baraderes, a coastal town of some 40,000 people about 135
                  kilometers (83 miles) west of the capital, where he was running the lower-house
                  campaign for his cousin Louiseul Sanon. The assailants did not take any of his

                  "The enemies of democracy don't want us to participate in the elections. But, in
                  spite of the shock, we're not going to let them intimidate us," said Lassegue, of
                  the Open the Gate party, a sometimes critical ally of the government.

                  On March 18, gunmen broke up a Lassegue political rally outside the capital and
                  threatened to kill her. The rising tide of bloodshed has led many Haitians to fear
                  that elections, postponed three times and reset for May 21 with a possible
                  second round on June 25, may be called off or marred with violence at the polls.

                  President Rene Preval called for elections after locking lawmakers out of
                  Parliament in January 1999. He appointed Alexis and the electoral council by
                  decree in March 1999.

                  Opposition leaders have accused partisans of former President Jean-Bertrand
                  Aristide of trying to delay the parliamentary and local elections so that candidates
                  can benefit from Aristide's popularity in presidential elections at the end of the

                  Since March 27, some 15 people have been killed in politically related slayings,
                  five of them provincial election campaign managers.

                  Two opposition politicians have been abducted, and activists' homes or
                  businesses have fallen victim to arson.

                  The insecurity has led most candidates to stop campaigning. Some candidates
                  have withdrawn their candidacies and the enthusiasm of many voters has been
                  dampened. The government last week banned all street marches until after
                  elections to prevent violence.

                  A record 4 million voters have registered, and more than 29,000 candidates are
                  competing for thousands of offices. Some 11,000 voting places are being