President Pledges New Elections

From Times Wire Reports

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide said Haiti intends to hold runoff elections for eight disputed Senate seats within six months in a bid to end a stalemate arising from last year's parliamentary vote.

In a letter read to the Organization of American States' General Assembly meeting in Costa Rica on Sunday, Aristide also said elections for the remaining legislative seats will be held in 2002 and 2003.

Haiti's May 2000 elections, which gave Aristide's Lavalas Family party an overwhelming legislative majority, were condemned as flawed by the OAS.

The group welcomed Aristide's announcement, but the Haitian opposition bloc Democratic Convergence rejected it, saying Aristide had failed to negotiate with political parties and other groups.

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