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Senators Vote for New Government Plan Which Excludes Aristide

May 16, 1992

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ The Senate has approved a plan for a new government that excludes ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, independent Radio Metropole reported Saturday.

Reports said the plan was approved late Friday by a vote of 13-1. Thirteen pro-Aristide senators boycotted the vote.

″We did not want to legitimize this ratification by participating in the discussions. We think this agreement will not lead to consensus,″ said Senator Fermin Jean-Louis, an Aristide supporter.

The plan, which calls for the formation of a ″government of consensus for the consolidation of democracy″ must be now ratified by the House of Deputies.

The plan was agreed to last weekend by the army, the interim government and legislative leaders. It amounts to a rejection of U.S. and other demands that Aristide be reinstated.

Aristide was deposed by the military Sept. 30, 1991. Since then, Haiti has been diplomatically isolated and the subject of economic sanctions that have only deepened poverty on the island.

Senate President Dejeune Belizaire told Radio Metropole Saturday he was ″very satisfied″ with the vote and said the Senate hopes the national community will accept the decision.

The plan says nothing about restoring Aristide, who won Haiti’s first free presidential election in December, 1990. But it does call for interim President Joseph Nerette to step down.

Prime Minister Jean-Jacques Honorat also would be replaced. A new, ″moderate″ prime minister would set up a consensus government for this impoverished Caribbean nation of 6.4 million people.

The Organization of American States brokered a compromise in February that called for a Communist Party leader to become prime minister and eventually bring about Aristide’s return. The army and other powerful sectors don’t accept that.

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