Haiti Elections & Aristide Hot Topics for Obama and Ban Ki-moon

Mar 18, 2011, 09:39

Haiti will hold their presidential and legislative runoff elections this weekend. Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide will end his exile and return to his former country in advance of those elections, despite pleas from global leaders not to do so.

Despite requests by U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to South African President Jacob Zuma to delay Aristide's trip, the former president plans to arrive Thursday or Friday in Port-au-Prince, The Miami Herald reported last Friday.

Aristide, 57, was ousted Feb. 29, 2004, in a violent rebellion and has been living in South Africa for the last seven years.

"The fact that the international community fears that the mere presence of Aristide could destabilize the whole game of cards shows that it has little confidence in the solidity of Haiti's political system. However, I would be more anxious about the post-electoral period than the elections themselves," said Robert Fatton, a Haiti expert at the University of Virginia.

"He's a former president who is well-known and popular, and the people will be happy to see him. I don't see any negative impact," said Jean-Henry Ceant, an Aristide supporter and one of a number of presidential candidates who lost in the flawed elections in November and continue to demand the results be nullified.

Source: UPI