Haitian support for Aristide

In an unusual act of tolerance, soldiers on Saturday permitted several thousand people in the north-west port of St Marc to march in protest at the 1991 overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Reuter reports from Port-au-Prince.

The march was one of several signs of growing support for the reinstatement of Fr Aristide, Haiti's first democratically elected president. Pro-Aristide demonstrations have routinely been crushed by soldiers since the coup.

In the capital, the presidents of Haiti's biggest business associations met to draft a declaration urging Fr Aristide's reinstatement. The draft called on parliament to recognise the exiled president's legitimacy and approve an Aristide- designated prime minister in a new government.