Haiti's Aristide says dehydration caused his collapse at rally

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 17, 2016 3:44 PM

CAP HAITIEN, Haiti (Reuters) - Former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide said on Saturday that dehydration caused him to faint at an election rally for his party's presidential candidate on Friday night.

Aristide, 63, was giving an address in the northern port city of Cap Haitien in support of Maryse Narcisse, candidate for his Fanmi Lavalas party in the Oct. 9 presidential election, when he suddenly slumped into a chair behind the podium.

Narcisse and aides fanned Aristide for a few minutes after the incident before carrying him off the stage for medical attention.

"I did not drink enough water," Aristide told reporters in Cap Haitien as he resumed campaigning. "It's a bad habit I have."

Aristide won the presidency twice, in 1990 and 2000, and was ousted from power during both of his terms. He returned from exile in South Africa in 2011 and has largely remained out of the public eye since then. He ventured out to campaign for Narcisse in 2015 and this year.

Aristide said the current election race reminded him of the 1990 presidential campaign, and said "dirty money" and "professional bandits" were the two main challenges facing Haiti.

Narcisse, a doctor, placed fourth in a disputed presidential election last year, which was canceled after electoral bodies concluded there was massive fraud.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Paul Simao)