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Haiti : Election campaigning continues in Ouanaminthe under the shadow of violence

Originally: Fiesta electoral en Wanament pero con violencia -

Translated from Spanish by Charles Arthur for the Haiti Support Group -

Published by AlterPresse on February 3, 2006

Ouanaminthe, 3 February 2006 - The town of Ouanaminthe is experiencing
something of a party atmosphere as presidential candidates visit as part of their
election campaigns, but, all the while, there is a threat of violence.

Yesterday, groups of armed supporters of Charles Henri Baker, the candidate
backed by Chavannes Jean-Baptiste’s KONBA party, clashed with supporters of the
Struggling People’s Organisation (OPL). Sticks, stones and other projectiles
were thrown.

The most animated activists danced and banged out rhythms on drums, before
the confrontation developed in the town’s main square. Later, as night fell,
gunfire was heard. It is not known if there were any casualties from the

As election day draws near, several candidates have decided to visit
Ouanaminthe to wind up their campaigns. On Tuesday the OPL’s Paul Denis arrived, and
on 2 February it was the turn of Evans Paul of the Democratic Alliance, and
Charles Henri Baker.

Groups of people singing and dancing, and trucks with blaring loudspeakers,
circulated all through the town, both day and night, exhorting the population
to vote in favour of the candidates. All this took place in an atmosphere of
relative calm, and was supervised by troops from the MINUSTAH force.

During the day, the town was calm and the campaigning continued, but a latent
tension persisted.