Haiti's Top Election Official Flees Nation for U.S.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Haiti, June 18 -- Haiti's top election official
has fled the country, fearing for his life after he refused to approve
results for last month's contested legislative and local elections, sources
official, Léon Manus, crossed the border on Friday into the
Dominican Republic and flew to Miami on Saturday, according to two
diplomats and a leading Haitian businessman. Friends of Mr. Manus said
he was flying to Boston today to join a daughter who lives there.
has cast still more doubt on the fairness of an election that
Haitians hoped would finally give them a functioning democracy and
unfreeze a half-billion dollars in international aid held up by a long political
the results of the May 21 election has been delayed, with
opposition parties charging that the voting and the count were fixed to
ensure a massive victory for the Lavalas Family party of the country's
former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
irregularities, local and international observers said the
May elections were acceptable. However, they disputed the electoral
council's method of determining first-round winners. A second round is
scheduled for June 25.
departure in fear for his life shows that Haiti is not a
democracy and expresses a decent man's rejection of manipulated
election results," a Haitian economist, Hervé Denis, said today.
On Friday, Aristide
supporters set tires aflame in downtown
Port-au-Prince to back their demands that results giving Lavalas a
sweeping lead be published immediately.
There was no
immediate public response today to the flight of Mr.
Manus, president of the country's electoral council. Few know about it
because there are no regular radio news reports on Sundays in Haiti.