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18051: Esser: Haitian President warns against coup(fwd)




From: D. Esser torx@joimail.com


NDTV.com, India
Haitian President warns against coup

Sunday, January 18, 2004 (Port-au-Prince):

Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide warned on Saturday that a coup
d'Etat would lead to death and the destruction of the country and its
economy.

At a briefing after his return from Dominica where he attended the funeral
of Prime Minister Pierre Charles, Aristide urged his citizens to choose
elections, compromise and life over the possibility of overthrowing his
regime.

After telling his audience, which included most of his cabinet and the chief
of Haiti's police force, that the burial of Pierre Charles had caused him to
reflect on life and death, President Aristide used mortality as an analogy
for Haiti's immediate political future.

"Once we have coup d'Etat then we have death, once we say no to coup d'itat
then we say yes to life," he said.

The Haitian capital Port Au Prince and several smaller towns have been
seared by violence during the past three weeks resulting in loss of life and
the destruction of property.

A loosely organised opposition is calling for the ouster of Aristide's
government and the parliament has dissolved itself following the
postponement of elections.

President Aristide reiterated a pledge for fresh elections within six
months, an announcement he made earlier this week at the Summit of the
Americas in Monterrey, Mexico.

Aristide noted 40 governments in sub-Saharan Africa had been overthrown in
this manner during the 1960s and 70s bringing, only a legacy of failed
regimes and economic stagnation. (AP)


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