Haiti's president promises fair election

AP News
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Posted: Jan 01, 2010 6:08 PM

Haitian President Rene Preval has used his Independence Day speech to pledge that upcoming legislative elections will be fair.

But the Friday speech did not address the disqualification of 15 political groups that has prompted international criticism and opposition threats to try to disrupt the Feb. 28 vote.

The opposition accuses the presidentially appointed electoral council of favoring Preval's new Unity party.

Preval's speech also promises to focus the last of his five-year term on restoring agriculture, electricity and roads in the impoverished Caribbean country.

The annual address in Gonaives marks Haiti's Jan. 1, 1804, independence from France after a slave revolt.