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Context of 'Late April 2004: Haitian Party Refuses to Participate in Electoral Council Due to Human Rights Violations'

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In Haiti, the Lavalas party holds a conference and agrees not to select a member for the provisional electoral council, citing widespread human rights violations against its members. The party agrees that it will not select a representative until interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue signs an agreement stating that his government will protect Lavalas members, halt illegal arrests and disarm paramilitary rebels and thugs. “After the brutal interruption of the democratic process in Haiti, the Lavalas Family party cannot name a representative under such conditions,” Jonas Petit, a spokesman for Lavalas explains. “We won’t do so until the government puts an end to the killing, persecutions, illegal arrests, and destruction of personal property of our members and supporters.” Latortue, though saying he agrees in principle to the request, says he will not sign any agreement until Lavalas has selected a representative for the council. [Reuters, 5/3/2004; Associated Press, 5/4/2004; Z Magazine, 5/5/2004]

Entity Tags: Jonas Petit, Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

In Haiti, a panel of judges swears in the new eight-member provisional electoral council. A ninth seat, meant for the Lavalas party, is left vacant because the party has so far refused to appoint a representative, citing widespread violence against its members (see Late April 2004). [Associated Press, 5/4/2004]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Gerard Latortue, Haiti’s Interim Prime Minister, defends his government by denying that Haiti is a failed state. In his defense, Latortue states that he won’t “stay one minute in this job if there are flagarant cases of human-rights violations.” Latortue also blames former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide for orchestrating violence from his exile in South Africa. [Globe and Mail, 2/8/2005]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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