From Mon Jul 2 12:42:41 2001
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 23:13:00 -0500 (CDT)
From: Haiti Reborn <>
Subject: Haiti Report for June 29, 2001
Article: 122059
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

OAS Approves Aristide plan to solve crisis

Haiti Report, by Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center, 29 June 2001

In a letter to Roberto Rojas, Minister of Foreign Affaris of Costa Rica, President Aristide submitted a special message and request to the General Assembly meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS). Aristide wrote: The current political impasse in Haiti has had the effect of impeding the development of the country and muted my fellow citizens' hopes for a more prosperous future. It is my fervent wish that with the assistance of the international community, Haiti will soon emerge from this difficult moment and move forward toward economic and social progress. With a view toward an end to the impasse, I wish to outline five elements which I am confident will foster an end to this situation. I urge the international community to support this initiative as a symbol of its solidarity with a burgeoning democracy. (1) I am now in a position to inform you that the seven contested Senators have resigned as evidence of their patriotic commitment to ending the electoral controversy surrounding the May 21, 2000 elections. (2) I commit to appoint a new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) by June 25, 2001. This CEP would be composed of nine members nominated by the Executive, Judiciary, political parties—including the Convergence, Fanmi Lavalas and other political parties—and churches, both Catholic and Protestant. I will uphold the integrity of the new CEP as a functionally independent entity. It should be clear that is any of the above groups fail to nominate its assigned member(s), the undesignated member(s) would be selected from among the other sectors identified above. (3) The new CEP will, after appropriate consultations, set the date for elections of the contested seats in the Senate and proceed to organize these elections in a timely manner. I am convinced that it would be in the country's best interest if the elections to fill the vacated seats were to occur before the end of the year 2001, and would encourage this result. (4) The new CEP would also organize early elections to replace all members of Parliament elected May 21, 2000, in accordance with the government's proposal outlined at the March 14, 2001, session of the OAS Permanent Council, the terms of the parliamentarians elected on May 21, 2000 would be reduced by two years, in order to regularize the cycle of renewal for the seats in the Haitian Parliament as provided for in the Constitution. Finally, the CEP would organize complimentary elections that are necessary to bring about the establishment of a Permanent Electoral Council. To increase confidence in these measures, I seek your support for the establishment of a Special OAS/CARICOM Mission whose mandate would be to facilitate dialogue with civil society and political parties, and to strengthen democratic institutions. The mission's functions would include the observation of human rights conditions and support for the proper functioning of the electoral process, including freedom of expression and security for all concerned. It is my sincere belief that as an integral part of this solution, the OAS and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) should undertake to help normalize relations between Haiti and international financial institutions (IFIs). The release of much needed international financial assistance would permit Haiti's economic development, which will in turn strengthen the democratic process. On behalf of all Haitians, I urge you to support these five elements and recognize them as a thoughtful and thorough resolution to this impasse. (June 3, 2001)

In a resolution, foreign ministers of the OAS gave a key endorsement to Aristide's timetable. We expect concrete actions, no more empty promises, US Ambassador Luis Lauredo told the assembly Tuesday before it passed the resolution. The OAS also agreed to help unblock hundred of millions of aid dollars frozen after last year's tainted legislative elections if there if progress toward an enduring solution to the crisis. The resolution called on all sectors of Haitian society to accept Aristide's overture and compromise totally. Opposition leaders rejected the proposal and charged the organization is giving Aristide what he wants: the opportunity to bypass their demands for immediate elections while helping to unblock the frozen aid. It has diminished our confidence in the OAS. The proposals, for that reason, leaves us cold, said Serge Gilles of the opposition coalition Convergence. It is not the first time Aristide has made promises. We can count on his breaking them again. The assembly also agreed to hold a special session in Lima, Peru, before the end of September to consider a US-backed proposal specifying democratic standards for the hemisphere which could carry sanctions for violators. Lauredo said the US expects immediate negotiations with the opposition for Convergence and other opposition groups to play their proper role to help Haiti. Delegates involved in the negotiations warned that Haiti's opposition risks being left out of efforts to solve the crisis if they do not respond. I think they would lose an opportunity. But if they want to exclude themselves from the process, well, all right, said Ambassador Albert Ramdin, the deputy secretary general of Caricom. (AP, 6/6)