MABE Orphanage -- Port au Prince, Haiti

MABE Orphanage -- Port au Prince, Haiti

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Haiti: U.S. Asks South Africa to Delay Aristide’s Departure

March 14, 2011
Haiti: U.S. Asks South Africa to Delay Aristide’s Departure
By REUTERS

The Obama administration said Monday that the former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide should refrain from returning to Haiti before the presidential runoff election on Sunday. A State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said that Mr. Aristide, above, had the right to return, but doing so this week “can only be seen as a conscious choice to impact Haiti’s elections.” A delay, Mr. Toner said, would “permit the Haitian people to cast their ballots in a peaceful atmosphere.” He said the United States was asking South Africa, where Mr. Aristide has lived in exile since 2004, to delay his departure. Mr. Aristide’s lawyer, Ira Kurzban, said the United States “should leave that decision to the democratically elected government instead of seeking to dictate the terms under which a Haitian citizen may return to his country.”

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