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Aristide soon in Haiti

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Aristide soon in Haiti

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The head of former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Lavalas Party Council has said the exiled leader’s return to the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country is “imminent.”
“It’s an important event for the people in Haiti because they have waited so long for this,” Maryse Narcisse said, adding “he will not be traveling incognito. People will know he is coming.”
A South African official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also confirmed that Aristide, who has been exiled there since his ouster seven years ago, will return to his native land “within days.”
The United States, which has been opposed to Aristide’s return to the country, fearing it would disrupt the March 20 presidential run-off, said Aristide’s return is “a matter for the government of Haiti.
“The US remains focused on helping ensure a peaceful and democratic transition of power in Haiti, and that the second round of elections, scheduled for March 20, accurately reflect the will of the Haitian people,” the State Department said in a statement.
Last week, Haiti’s presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat said it would be better if Aristide waits until completion of the runoff before returning home.
Manigat, 70, a former Haitian first lady, said the presence of Aristide and ex-dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier would cause “not a crisis but some agitation.”