Resurgent right demands more power in absence of Aristide


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)—Buoyed by the failure of a U.N. plan to return President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power on schedule, about 200 chanting rightists marched Sunday to demand his replacement.

Later Sunday, a coalition of 20 small right-wing political movements demanded the resignation of Aristide, army commander Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras and U.N. envoy Dante Caputo—the three men who worked out a U.N. plan in July for restoring democracy in Haiti.

The groups were led by the army-backed Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH).

FRAPH’s leader, Emmanuel Constant, said the U.N. plan ‘‘is completely dead’‘ and Caputo should be replaced by Colin Powell, retired chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was unclear whether the coalition’s proposal has the support of the ruling military.

‘‘Aristide is not part of the picture. He’s not even worth impeachment now,’‘ another rightist, Gerard Bissainthe, said at the crowded outdoor news conference.

U.N. spokesman Eric Falt dismissed the resignation demand. ‘‘These individuals don’t have any legitimacy,’‘ he said. ‘‘We’re involved in the negotiating process and intend to continue,’‘ with a meeting set for Wednesday in Port-au-Prince.

Outside the vacant National Palace at midday, the rightist demonstrators borrowed the tune from ‘‘The Farmer in the Dell’‘ for their chant against Aristide Premier Robert Malval: ‘‘Arrest Malval! Arrest Malval! Aristide’s in deep trouble!’‘

One protester carried a black-and-red Duvalierist flag atop the statue to the Unknown Slave. Three older women carried color photographs of Francois ‘‘Papa Doc’‘ Duvalier as the protesters marched toward the Normandie Bar, a hangout for army-backed civilian gangs known as ‘‘attaches.’‘

‘‘We’re tired, we’re finished with everything, we’re going to form our own government!’‘ shouted former Sen. Reynald Georges, a Duvalier supporter. Duvalier and his successor son, Jean-Claude ‘‘Baby Doc,’‘ ruled Haiti for nearly 29 years. The regime was toppled after popular protests chased Jean-Claude from the country in 1986.

Across the Avenue of Liberty, four military officers in civilian clothes watched the demonstration. On the street, a prominent businessman looked on sadly.

‘‘I don’t see how we are getting out of this thing,’‘ Gerald Allen said, referring to the political and economic impasse. Three months ago, he closed his weekly Journal du Commerce, founded in 1954, because of the collapse of legitimate businesses in the face of a thriving contraband market.

‘‘There is nothing left to defend,’‘ Allen said.

‘‘They (the rightists) say they are the people, but they are not the people. The people are in hiding,’‘ the Rev. Rene Giroux, a priest in an Aristide stronghold in the capital, later told The Associated Press.

Aristide supporters have been repressed since the military overthrew the elected president in September 1991. Premier Malval was appointed by Aristide in August as part of a U.N. plan envisioning Aristide’s return by Oct. 30, but the military has retained control of government ministries.

Although Malval, a businessman, has the respect of the international community, the rightists want to remove him or force him away from Aristide, who was elected in 1990 with a reported two-thirds of the vote.

U.S. and U.N. officials, who have imposed a worldwide oil and arms embargo on Haiti, have warned that a constitutional coup would violate the terms of the U.N. plan to restore Haitian democracy. Despite missing Saturday’s deadline for Aristide’s return, the United Nations has asked Aristide, Cedras and presidents of both houses of Parliament to meet Wednesday in Haiti to push through the restoration of democracy.

Two miles away from the demonstrations, a shadowy figure from Haiti’s past emerged on the veranda of the Hotel Oloffson to meet with journalists for the first time since his return from exile.

Franck Roumain, former Duvalierist mayor and police chief of Port-au-Prince, told reporters he was a man of peace hoping to promote ‘‘the salvation of the country.’‘

Although saying he was not involved in politics, his appearance clearly was intended to show that he was an overt power in a country traditionally ruled by the gun. It came one day after a contemporary Duvalier leader, Claude Raymond, said he was forming a new political party.

Roumain was forced to leave Haiti shortly after thugs hacked and shot to death 11 Haitians and wounded 70 at a Mass on Sept. 11, 1988, led by Aristide, then an anti-Duvalierist parish priest. On Sunday he denied widespread reports by human rights groups that he masterminded the massacre, and said Malval, a personal friend, had allowed him back into Haiti.

He supported a U.S.-backed plan to open Malval’s government to political opponents and opposed the idea, backed by other rightists, of new elections.

Duvalierists, he said, ‘‘have the soul of the country.’‘