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| | |-+  CARICOM maintains pro-democracy stance on Haiti
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Author Topic: CARICOM maintains pro-democracy stance on Haiti  (Read 5378 times)
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« on: May 02, 2005, 07:05:58 PM »

CARICOM maintains pro-democracy stance on Haiti

Janet Silvera, Gleaner Writer


Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has reiterated the
stance of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that the
body will only support a constitutionally elected
government, chosen in free and fair elections by the
people of Haiti.

"My position is not pro-Aristide, or pro-Preval, it's
pro-government ­ elected by Haiti, whichever
government they choose," said the Prime Minister while
speaking at the closing of the Caribbean
Inter-American Forum on Political Parties at the Half
Moon Montego Bay in St. James on Friday afternoon.

He said his main concern was to help the people of
Haiti enjoy the tenets of constitutional democracy.

"That's the litmus test that should be applied." In a
no-hold-bars presentation, the former CARICOM Chairman
urged the leaders and activists of major political
parties in the wartorn nation to discontinue the
arbitrary detention of Haitian citizens.

"We remain prepared as CARICOM to support the people,
and they must be allowed to express their views freely
without fear of foe," he stated.

Deeply disturbed

"We are deeply disturbed by the overall situation on
Haiti and the continuing insecurity, volatility and
political polarisation which can hinder any steps to
progress in responsible democratic governance ... The
Caribbean Community prides itself on strong democratic
traditions and practices, which have been the passion
for generations."

He said CARICOM has committed to make good on its
promise to contribute to the people of Haiti. An
Assistance Programme has already been drawn up by the
CARICOM Task Force on Haiti and is ready for
implementation as soon as the security situation

"We have also pledged to contribute technical
assistance for the electoral process in Haiti, under
the umbrella of the electoral unit of the United
Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, MINUISTAH. The
welfare of the Haitian people remains our overriding
concern," he said.

President Aristide was pushed out of power in February
2004 during a local uprising. He is currently exiled
in South Africa. Before departing for South Africa he
spent several weeks in Jamaica.


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