Duvalier 'dreams' of Haiti reconciliation

2011-02-08 11:48
Port-au-Prince - Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier said in a radio interview aired on Monday that he dreams of "national reconciliation" led by all of Haiti's former presidents.

"I envision the possibility that all the former chiefs of state would form a grand council with the goal of promoting national reconciliation and rebuilding Haiti," he said in the interview with Signal FM radio.

His comments came as another exiled former Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was seeking to return to the country from South Africa where he has lived since 2004.

A government official said Aristide has been issued a new passport, enabling his return. But Aristide's lawyer in Miami said he had not received it yet.

Duvalier, who fled Haiti after a popular uprising led by Aristide in 1986, returned by surprise on January 16 after 25 years in exile, saying he had come back to help reconstruction after the country was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010.

In the days after his return, Duvalier was charged with corruption, misappropriation of public funds and criminal association, and several complaints have been filed accusing the former "president for life" of crimes against humanity.

Nevertheless, Duvalier's return was welcomed by Michel Martelly, the singer who is in a runoff election for the presidency against Miralande Manigat, a former first lady.

"My dream is to see all former leaders who are so popular reunited in one place for national reconciliation," Martelly said just days after Duvalier's return.

"Once in power, I would like all the former presidents to become my advisers so I can benefit from their experience," he said.

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