PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI -- The slaying Tuesday of a presidential candidate has strengthened, not diminished, Haitains' desire for national elections, politicians and election officials said yesterday.

Yves Volel was giving a speech next to police headquarters when he was shot by men whom witnesses described as plainclothesmen.

"The murder of Volel has created a climate of outrage, not intimidation," said Jean-Claude Bajeux, coleader of the main opposition group, the Front for Concerted Action.

"Volel's assassination was a serious blow to the democratic sector. But it only reinforces the desire of the people to go on with elections," Carlo Dupiton of the independent Electoral Council said.

Police said Volel, 54, brought a mob with him to the speech and was shot during a melee.

The Electoral Council and the Communist Party demanded that the provisional junta, led by Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, investigate the slaying. Elections for president and National Assembly are scheduled Nov. 29, and for local offices Nov. 15. Bajeux said the only way to address Haiti's problems is through a "massive participation in the elections."

In Washington, a State Department spokesman condemned the slaying and said, "We stand firmly behind Haiti in its transitions to democracy."