April 14, 2000
Haiti sets June date for second round of elections

                   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 to
                   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 and May,
                   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 is secured
                   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
                   announced Friday.

                   Opposition politicians have accused the president of trying to delay the elections
                   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 16
                   because Haiti's constitution rules out seating a parliament elected after that date.

                   But council member Carlo Dupiton said Tuesday that Preval had convinced the
                   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 down
                   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.