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BBC Central American correspondent Peter Greste
"Haiti's attempts at restoring an internationally acceptable administration are still far from over"
 real 28k

Monday, 10 July, 2000, 03:29 GMT 04:29 UK
Low turnout in Haiti elections
Man mends shoes in Port au Prince
Most of the opposition parties are boycotting the election
There has been in a low turnout in the second round of elections in Haiti, which look set to hand victory to the party of the former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The whole election has been marred by strong criticism at home and abroad, with international observers pulling out saying they did not recognise the voting system as fair or accurate.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Mr Aristide's party is expected to win a majority of seats

Voting in the coastal city of Jacmel has been postponed due to "tension", according to Haitian Nationale radio.

Elsewhere, a regional election official said voting in Bellance would now take place on Monday due to problems transporting election materials.

Results will not be known for several days.

Fewer than the 55% of the electorate who turned in the first round voted for 46 deputies in the 83-member lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, from constituencies throughout the country.

The parliamentary and municipal elections in the Caribbean nation had been viewed as a key step as Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas struggles to build a democracy after decades of dictatorship and military rule.


The Organisation of American States, which monitored the first round vote on 21 May, said it would not observe the second round because the final results for the Senate results were "incorrect".

The OAS also withdrew from the controversial reelection of President Alberto Fujimori in Peru in May after irregularities there.

Most opposition parties in Haiti are boycotting the second round of voting in the nation of 7.5m people.

The overwhelming majority of Haitians questioned on Sunday said they had voted for Mr Aristide's Lavalas party.

"I think the Lavalas party has the spirit we need," said Frantz Douze, a tailor in the town of Cornillon.

"We know which table to eat from."

Critics say that although Lavalas are almost certain to win the elections, the method used to calculate the first round gave Lavalas more outright victories in the Senate than it was due.

Candidates needed a simple majority to avoid a second-round run-off.

Mr Aristide, a former Roman Catholic priest who was Haiti's first freely elected president, is widely expected to run for and win the presidency later this year.

A US led invasion force of 20,000 troops restored him in 1994 after a military coup ousted him in 1991.

But Haiti's government has been paralysed for most of the past three years after parliamentary elections held in April 1997 were declared fraudulent.

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See also:

08 Jul 00 | Americas
Haiti poll monitors pull out
20 Jun 00 | Americas
Haiti election results challenged
09 Jun 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
Haitians yearn for stability
06 Apr 00 | Americas
UN Haiti mission in peril
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