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The BBC's Peter Greste
"The international community says it will not release a cent of help until Haiti gets a legitimate government in place"
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Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 01:13 GMT 02:13 UK
US considers action against Haiti
Haitian ballot paper
The ballot paper of a candidate arrested during the vote
The United States is considering whether to take action against Haiti following what it described as "incomplete and inappropriate" elections there on Sunday.

It is not too late for the Haitian authorities to reverse this course and reaffirm their commitment to a democratic outcome of the electoral process

State Department's Richard Boucher
The State Department said a number of Senate seats had not been contested properly and urged the Haitian authorities to remedy the situation.

Earlier, the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, expressed concern that a second round of voting had gone ahead despite irregularities in the first round.

The opposition boycotted the elections, and international observers refused to monitor them, saying the first round had favoured the party of the former Haitian President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Crucial poll

The poll - to restore an elected congress and senate which were suspended last year - was seen as Haiti's chance to restore democracy after decades of instability.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Mr Aristide's Lavalas Party has claimed victory in the election
The Lavalas Party, of former Preisdent Aristide, claimed victory in the polls and called for a dialogue with the international community. No official results have been issued yet, and the head of Haiti's electoral council fled the country rather than endorse the results.

A BBC correspondent in the region, Peter Greste, says the elections have been critical to Haiti. The country urgently needs an elected legislature in place to run the country after more than a year-and-a-half.

Haiti also desperately needs the $500m in foreign aid that donors have kept under lock and key until Haiti puts a legitimate government in place.

US criticism

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the vote was flawed by the fact that senate seats left undecided by the first round were not included.

"Failure to include in the July 9 run-off election the seats not won in the first round by absolute majority as prescribed by Haitian electoral law, make this cycle of parliamentary elections incomplete and inappropriate," Mr Boucher said.

However, in keeping with previous US remarks about the polls, he stressed that there was still time for the Port-au-Prince authorities to "reaffirm their commitment to a democratic outcome of the electoral process".

Anan's regret

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday that he regretted that Haiti's Government had gone ahead with weekend elections.

Mr Annan said he "wished to express his regret that the electoral council and Haitian authorities chose to proceed with holding run-off parliamentary elections... without having resolved outstanding issues related to the first round."

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See also:

10 Jul 00 | Americas
Low turnout in Haiti elections
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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