PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Haiti announced Friday that a second round
of long-delayed elections would take place on June 25, a week after a
deadline pressed by the United States and Haitian opposition parties.
The election council's announcement Friday followed a similar one on
Tuesday that set the first round of the local and parliamentary polls for May 21.
It was the third time the poll dates had been pushed back.
But Preval, who is in Cuba for a summit of Third World countries, has yet
validate the latest dates by publishing them in an executive order.
An earlier set of poll dates were set by the electoral council for April
but Preval argued that they were invalid because he had not published them in an
executive order. The elections were originally to take place in November and
This time, the council said it is working to ensure that such an order
for the new dates.
"The council has sent a letter to ... (Preval) requesting him to publish
the dates in
an executive order," provisional electoral council spokesman Roland Sainristil
Opposition politicians have accused the president of trying to delay the
so that his party's candidates could benefit from the popularity of former
President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who is favored to win a separate presidential
election set for November. The constitution prevents consecutive presidential
Preval appeared to support the new dates for local and parliamentary elections.
Before flying to Cuba, he said he and the nine electoral council members had
reached a "consensus" Monday night.
The United States and opposition parties had pushed for elections by June
because Haiti's constitution rules out seating a parliament elected after that date.
But council member Carlo Dupiton said Tuesday that Preval had convinced
council that the constitution would allow June 25 elections.
"As soon as the results are published, Parliament will be installed," Preval said.
Haiti has not had a parliament since January 1999, when Preval shut it
after an 18-month power struggle with the majority party. Preval appointed a
new premier and the electoral council by decree in March 1999.
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.