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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 23:11 GMT
Haiti opposition keep up pressure
Haiti opposition rally
Sunday's protest renewed calls for Aristide to step down
Thousands of opposition supporters have marched in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince calling for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resign.

Supporters of the president's Lavalas party threw sticks and stones at the march, which was otherwise peaceful.

But an Aristide supporter was shot dead in another town, with a mob attacking an opposition supporter in revenge.

President Aristide's parliamentary mandate expires on Monday, and he is preparing to rule by decree.

There should have been parliamentary elections in Haiti last year but no independent electoral body was set up to oversee the poll.

The president has served two years of his five-year term and he is refusing to step down.

"We are engaged in a struggle that is pitting the people against the state," said anti-government activist Frandley Denis Julien.

"We need institutions. We need leadership. We don't need a charismatic leader to replace Aristide."

Shot dead

Sunday's march began at a church in the Petionville suburb, with numbers swelling from 1,000 to ten of thousands.

"We want non-violent demonstrations," said one marcher, "but they want civil war."

In the town of Miragoane, 80km (50 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, a Lavalas party activist was shot dead.

Party members set fire to an opposition supporter in a revenge attack, and he was taken to hospital in serious condition.

Each side has blamed the other for shooting the activist.

Earlier on Sunday, the police chief of the northern town of Cap-Haitien, Jeanty Edner, was found dead, with a bullet wound in the chest.

The BBC's Clare Marshall
"The Haitian capital has never seen anything like it"


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