PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, NOV. 3 -- Fire raged through the independent election council's office today, hours after the council struck known supporters of the deposed Duvalier dictatorship from the list of presidential candidates. A few blocks away, the business operated by council member Emmanuel Ambroise was also destroyed in an early morning blaze.
Sylvio Claude, one of the seven main presidential candidates, said: "Look what the Macoutes have done." The Ton-tons Macoutes were the private army of the Duvalier family, who ruled for three decades until president-for-life Jean-Claude Duvalier fled the country Feb. 7, 1986.
Claude said his Chrstian Democratic Party headquarters was riddled with gunfire early today. Shots were fired at an election council office in Delmas, on the north side of Port-au-Prince.
Alain Rocourt, a council member, said the burning of the headquarters was arson carried out by "the enemies of democracy."
Radio Haiti Inter said a security guard at the council office was wounded, but there were no other reports of injuries.
On the first floor of the downtown council headquarters, fire consumed thousands of posters calling on Haitians to vote in the Nov. 29 elections, copies of the election law, books, banners and leaflets.
Shots also were fired at the home and car of senatorial candidate Reynold Georges, according to radio reports. Georges told Radio Metropole he believed Duvalier loyalists were responsible.
The fires began soon after midnight, about seven hours after the council issued a list of 23 presidential candidates that omitted 12 linked to the regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier and his father Francois.
Rocourt said, "We've written two letters to the National Governing Council asking for police security, since we have been receiving daily death threats. We've received no response.
The governing council, led by Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, includes another general and a civilian. It has governed Haiti since Duvalier fled and is scheduled to turn over power to an elected president and legislature after Nov. 29.