Aristide Rebukes Right; Gasoline Flows Into Haiti

RANDOM violence has increased the pressure on Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to quickly assemble a government and regain control of his country, which has been under virtual US stewardship since Sept. 19.

At his first news conference since his return, President Aristide on Wednesday blamed his right-wing foes for the violence, saying, ``There is a campaign of manipulation aiming to tarnish the image of the government.''

Aristide said he was ``still consulting'' on his appointments for key government posts. Political analysts say Foreign Minister Claudette Werleigh is the leading contender for prime minister.

He also announced a government-set price of 38 gourdes (about $3.75) a gallon for commercial gasoline, ending the exorbitantly priced black market fuel. The first oil tanker since a fuel embargo was imposed a year ago arrived in Haiti Wednesday, and gasoline was expected to be available in the capital yesterday. Peru's ex-first lady denied top job

PERU'S electoral board Wednesday squashed the presidential hopes of deposed first lady Susana Higuchi - the latest development in her high-profile feud with her husband, President Alberto Fujimori.

The National Electoral Board invalidated 135,999 of the signatures her party submitted on its election petition, leaving her far short of the 100,000 signatures necessary to gain a spot on the ballot for April's presidential election.

Ms. Higuchi last week signed up to challenge her estranged husband in his bid for reelection in April, sparking an unprecedented huband-and-wife rivalry for Peru's highest office. She charged earlier in the week that members of the National Intelligence Service were using high-tech fraud to eliminate her from the race.

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