UNITED NATIONS -- (AP) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the slaying of Haiti's most prominent journalist and called for quick elections to help stem a recent surge in deadly attacks, a UN spokesman said Tuesday. "In the secretary-general's view, these events underscore the urgent need to re-establish democratic institutions in Haiti," spokesman David Wimhurst said. He encourages the government to hold the planned elections in order to meet constitutional deadlines for the seating of Parliament," the spokesman said.
President Rene Preval had called legislative and municipal elections after dissolving Parliament in January 1999 to end a political impasse that had paralyzed Haiti's government since disputed elections in 1997.
Two rounds of voting were originally set for November and December, then delayed to March 19 and April 30 -- and delayed again. Last month, Haiti's electoral council rescheduled the vote for April 9 and May 21 -- but Preval challenged their authority to set new dates. Haitian officials say April 9 has now been shelved, and no new date has been set.
Last week, nine people died in the Caribbean nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, and on Monday 2 gunmen shot and killed journalist Jean Dominique as he pulled into the courtyard of his radio station for his morning newscast.
In Paris, the director-general of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Koichiro Matsuura, said Dominique's murder ``will distress all those who believe in Haiti's democratic future and all who fight for freedom of speech.'
"In the secretary-general's view, these events underscore the urgent need to re-establish democratic institutions in Haiti," spokesman David Wimhurst said.
"He encourages the government to hold the planned elections in order to meet constitutional deadlines for the seating of Parliament,'' the spokesman said. Like the State Department's Rubin, Kofi Annan is out of touch with reality. His United Nations destroyed Haiti's infrastructure with its illegal 1991-1994 embargo, then returned a madman to the Presidency... promoted the selection of Aristide's puppet to replace him in 1995... supported Aristide as he destroyed all political opposition... Now, Annan wants instantaneous elections to restore democracy. What he fails to understand is the simple fact that the opposition is now "Aristide." If an election is held and Aristide loses to someone like Leslie Delatour, or several others, it is merely a changing of power from one pocket to another. To suggest that Jean Dominique was "Haiti's most prominent newsman" is garbage.
AP's Michael Norton has been out of touch with reality for years. His pro-Aristide reportage has caused a great deal of damage as the world accepted his biased writing as fact. Had he reported the truth, since 1991, Haiti might not be in its present disastrous situation.