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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 February, 2005, 10:38 GMT
Haiti sets date for new elections
Haitian food line (September 2004)
Haiti has been beset by political violence and flood damage
Elections have been announced in Haiti for later this year to fill the gap left by the ousting of elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The country's interim election council has called for presidential and parliamentary elections on 13 November, and local elections on 9 October.

Supporters of Mr Aristide have said they will boycott polls if what they say are political attacks continue.

The UN is to send a team to assess the situation in the run-up to the polls.

Haiti's interim government is expected to ratify the schedule for the vote later this week.

The presidential and parliamentary elections will be followed by a second round on 18 December, with the new president and chamber due to take office in January and February of 2006.

Canada, the United States, Haiti, the United Nations and the European Union have pledged a total of $38.5m to fund the elections in the impoverished Caribbean state, where some four million people are eligible to vote.

Supporters detained

Up to 100 presidential candidates may take part, UN elections officer Gerardo Le Chevallier was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Aristide's party, the Lavalas Family, has accused the authorities of pursuing its members since he was forced from office.

"How can we talk about elections when many senior members of the Lavalas Family Party are being detained without charges?" asked one former MP, James Desrosin.

Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue says any Aristide allies arrested were detained over purely criminal matters.

Mr Aristide has been living in South Africa since the events which led to his overthrow in February 2004, which he blames on the US.


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