PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, JULY 12 -- Haiti's Council of State told the provisional president today that she must arrest two former government officials associated with deposed dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier by Monday or face removal from office.
The council said if its demands are not met, it would promptly negotiate with the military and political parties on choosing a replacement for provisional President Ertha Pascal Trouillot.
The council and the opposition parties also demanded that Trouillot recognize the March 4 accord under which the Council of State and the president are to share power. The accord established a transitional democratic government after military ruler Prosper Avril was toppled last March.
The council, a quasi-legislative body of representatives of Haiti's provinces and various social and economic sectors, demanded the immediate arrest of two former interior ministers, Roger Lafontant and Williams Regala, who returned from self-imposed exile last week. Both men had strong ties to Duvalier, who fled a popular revolt in 1986.
Lafontant, interior minister under Duvalier, was the reputed head of the dreaded Ton-tons Macoutes paramilitary forces. Duvalier, also known as Baby Doc, lost power in February 1986, but many Ton-tons Macoutes kept their weapons and formed new groups or joined regular security forces.
Regala was an army officer under Duvalier, and under two subsequent army-led governments he served as interior minister. Many Haitians blame him for allowing a massacre of voters during November 1987 elections, which were annulled.
A statement by the opposition's Unity Assembly said that if Trouillot did not meet the demands by noon Monday, "We will ask the people to mobilize to force Ertha Pascal Trouillot to turn over power."
Relations between Trouillot and the council plunged even further this week when she sent the council an eight-page letter refusing to legitimize the March 4 agreement.
"The letter marked a total break," said one council member.