SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The World

March 18, 2011

Warm welcome greets Aristide on return to Haiti

(Continued)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti —

Despite his supporters' insistence that Aristide will not get involved in politics, some fear his presence will bring further disarray to a country struggling to emerge from a political crisis, a cholera epidemic and the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake. It's not clear what impact he may have on Sunday's runoff between two candidates who in the pastopposed Aristide.

"Nothing should be done to create instability or to intensify the existing problems of Haiti," said Organization of American States Assistant Secretary-General Albert Ramdin, who will be monitoring the elections. "And that is the responsibility of all — not just the candidates, but former politicians."

Many Aristide supporters, however, appeared eager for direction from him.

"We're going to stay wherever he is until he tells us what to do," said Tony Forest, 44, a minibus driver. "We will vote for the candidate he picks."

Aristide's aides have said he feared that if he waited to come back, the winner of Sunday's vote might have blocked his return. But the candidates, former first lady Mirlande Manigat and popular singer Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly, now stress their support for his right to return as a citizen under the constitution. Both candidates would like to attract Lavalas votes.

Aristide supporter Mackeny Jean, one of the thousands who came to cheer his arrival, said an endorsement was unlikely since both candidates were critics in the past. "I can't say that he'll support either of them because they were both so against him," said the 18-year-old.

Aristide himself cannot serve again for president under the constitution, but some say he should be allowed to run since he never fully served out either of his two terms.

Aristide, a former slum priest who became Haiti's first democratically elected president, was ousted the first time in a coup, then restored in a U.S. military intervention in 1994. He was elected again in 2001, only to flee a rebellion in 2004 aboard a U.S. plane. Aristide claimed he was kidnapped. U.S. officials deny that.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The World

AP Video
Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Today in History for July 28th Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Today in History for July 27th Thousands at Peace Rally in Tel Aviv Raw: Sirens After Explosions in Israel Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Raw: Planes With MH17 Victims Land in Eindhoven Kerry Lays Out Ceasefire Goals for Gaza Family of MH17 Victim Pay Respects at Crash Site US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Clashes Raw: Tanks Patrol Gaza Streets During Ceasefire Raw: Residents Come Home to Rubble in Gaza 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Today in History for July 26th Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot