STAY AWAY: United States wants Aristide to postpone return to Haiti

first_imgNewsRegional STAY AWAY: United States wants Aristide to postpone return to Haiti by: – March 15, 2011 17 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img Share PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – The United States has asked former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide to postpone his return to the impoverished Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country fearing that his presence would affect the presidential elections on March 20. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said that while Aristide, who has been living in exile in the United States since 2004 when he was removed from office, had the right to return, doing so this week “can only be seen as a conscious choice to impact Haiti’s elections”. Toner said the Obama administration believes that Aristide should stay away and “permit the Haitian people to cast their ballots in a peaceful atmosphere”. He said Washington was askins South Africa “to delay Aristide’s departure”.However Aristide’s lawyer, Ira Kurzban, said the United States “should leave that decision to the democratically elected government instead of seeking to dictate the terms under which a Haitian citizen may return to his country”. Meanwhile, the Joint Organisation of American States (OAS)-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Mission in Haiti (JEOM) Monday deplored what it termed “the disruptive and violent incidents that broke out recently” during the campaign. In a statement, the JEOM called on the presidential candidates to do everything to ensure that the campaign continues to take place in an environment of tolerance and mutual respect.“Until recently, the presidential election campaign had proceeded in an atmosphere generally characterized by togetherness and understanding. The JEOM therefore deplores the disruptive and violent incidents that broke out last week when there were clashes between the supporters of the candidates during rallies in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian,” the statement said. It said that the presidential candidates, former first lady Mirlande Manigat and pop singer Michel Martelly, have the responsibility to calm the passions of their supporters and to recommend peacefulness.“They should also publicly condemn any act of violence by their own supporters or those of others. They should also set the example by avoiding incitement which could lead to the disruption of public order. In this regard, the Mission deplores the calls made by the candidates to take to the streets after the elections to claim victory.”. The JEOM said that it was also reminding the candidates that elections are won at the ballot box and not in the streets. “Political leaders should take advantage of the election campaign to underline their commitment to democracy and their sense of responsibility by adhering to the rules of the game and the provisions of the Electoral Law,” it added.The JEOM said that it also condemned the killing last week of the persons putting up posters and has taken note of the rapid response of the Haitian National Police (PNH). “The Mission hopes that that the investigation will follow the established procedures so that the courts can determine the responsibilities and the penalties for this crime.” Meanwhile, five candidates who were defeated in the first round of the presidential elections on November 28 last year, have given their support to Martelly in the second round. The five candidates said Martelly was the candidate most likely to promote democracy and development. But they said the best solution would have been to annul the first round because of widespread fraud.Whoever wins the election faces the task of rebuilding Haiti after last year’s huge earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people and left more than a million others homeless. In addition, the new leader will have to deal with a cholera outbreak that has killed more than 4,000 people.Source: Cana News Sharelast_img