- Title: HAITI: JEAN-BERTRAND-ARISTIDE CASTS HIS VOTE IN NATIONAL ELECTION
- Date: 26th November 2000
- Summary: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI. (NOVEMBER 26, 2000) (REUTERS--ACCESS ALL) 1. SLV OF JEAN-BERTRAND-ARISTIDE SUPPORTERS IN STREET 0.02 2. MCU/SV OF PEOPLE VOTING (3 SHOTS) 0.15 3. SV/MCU OF ARISTIDE SUPPORTERS CHEERING FOR HIM (2 SHOTS) 0.21 4. MCU PHOTOGRAPHER 0.24 5. SV ARISTIDE ARRIVING TO THE VOTING CENTRE 0.29 6. MCU MEDIA 0.31 7. SV ARISTIDE STILL APPROACHING THE BALLOT BOX SURROUNDED BY SUPPORTERS 0.35 8. MCU ARISTIDE'S SUPPORTERS CHEERING FOR HIM 0.41 9. SV/MCU ARISTIDE CASTING HIS VOTE (3 SHOTS) 0.56 10. MCU OF ARISTIDE'S SUPPORTERS CHEERING FOR HIM 0.59 11. SV/SLV OF PEOPLE CHEERING FOR ARISTIDE FROM HIS CARS IN THE STREETS (2 SHOTS) 1.06 12. SV/CU ELECTORAL COUNCIL PUTTING TOGETHER ELECTORAL PACKAGES AND ORGANIZING THEMSELVES (5 SHOTS) 1.38 13. SV OF MEMBERS OF THE ELECTORAL COUNCIL TAKING THEIR VOTES TO THE MAIN OFFICE/POLICE (3 SHOTS) 1.46 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 11th December 2000 12:00
- Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Reuters ID: LVAYPRVHJRO8UJZ98DWDA6DSGIC
- Story Text: Jean-Bertrand-Aristide, favored by most Haitians as the
best candidate to become their new president, cast his vote
along with many of his followers on Sunday (November 26) in a
peaceful national election plagued by low voter turnout and
boycotted by opposition parties.
In an election shunned by Haiti's key international
allies, voters trickled to the polls after a tense week in
which two children were killed in a series of pipe bombings
apparently meant to intimidate voters.
The election held on Sunday (November 26) appeared to have
been conducted in relative safety, despite an explosion that
rocked the Port-au-Prince slum of Carrefour early on Sunday,
injuring one person. Squads of armed police patrolled the
capital in pick-up trucks.
Surrounded by an excited swarm of supporters chanting
"Aristide or death," the diminutive, bespectacled former Roman
Catholic priest voted at a school near his luxury home in
Tabarre, a suburb of the capital.
"I congratulate all the different sectors involved in the
election process. We vote for peace, peace for all Haitians,
without distinction," Aristide said after dropping his paper
ballot into a cardboard ballot box and giving supporters a
Radio stations in Port-au-Prince with correspondents
scattered across the country said voter turnout was very low,
although no official figure was immediately available. Some
stations estimated no more than 10 percent of Haiti's 4
million eligible voters had cast ballots.
Independent observers said Haitians appeared to have turned
out in higher numbers in pro-Aristide neighborhoods .
The poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, with with 7.8
million people with per capita annual income of just $400,
Haiti is struggling once again to throw off decades of
dictatorship and military rule.
Aristide was its first democratically elected president, a
fiery former Roman Catholic priest who was swept into the
National Palace on a wave of grass-roots support a decade ago.
The 47-year-old Aristide is considered the most popular
politician in Haiti and is expected to win the election easily
over the unknown candidates who challenged him in the absence
of the nation's opposition parties.
Opposition leaders, citing the low turnout, condemned the
election as a farce and called it a defeat for Aristide's
Lavalas Family party.
"This was a very bad election. There is no transparency;
there is no participation," said Evans Paul, a former
Port-au-Prince mayor and a leader of the opposition coalition
Espace de Concertation. "This is not an election. People have
said no to Lavalas."
Although the result may not be known for days, Aristide's
expected victory will give him sweeping power. Lavalas Family
won parliamentary and municipal elections overwhelmingly in
But Haiti held the election without the support of
traditional allies like the United States, Canada and the
European Union after international observers declared the May
vote miscalculated totals in several Senate races that gave
Lavalas candidates victories without runoffs.
Political analysts have said it appears likely the United
States will not recognize the new government.
At a teacher training school near the imposing National
Palace in downtown Port-au-Prince, President Rene Preval,
Aristide's hand-picked successor who won the presidency in
1995, cast his ballot and lauded the vote.
"First, there is no coup d'etat. Second ... this is the
first time we have held an election on time according to the
Haitian constitution," Preval said.
Opposition parties boycotted the vote and asked their
supporters to do likewise because of the tainted May election.
Some residents of the capital went to polling stations but
declined to vote, in protest.
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