Haiti defiant on elections

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AP) - Haiti's military-backed government went ahead with parliamentary elections yesterday despite international condemnation of the vote as illegal and a widespread voter boycott.

As balloting began, the United States Coast Guard cutter, Confidence, returned 49 Haitians it intercepted on Sunday about 20 miles north-west of Haiti. They were believed to be attempting an illegal voyage to the US, the destination for thousands of their countrymen wanting to emigrate.

Turnout after the polls opened appeared light in balloting for 10 seats in the Senate and four in the House of Deputies. The international community has condemned the election, saying it should be put off until democracy is restored.