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Businessman Appeals Decision Barring Run for Haiti's Presidency


A Haitian-born businessman based in the United States is appealing against a rejection of his presidential candidacy by electoral authorities in Haiti.

Dumarsais Simeus says he is challenging the Provisional Electoral Council's decision on Friday that he cannot be a candidate because he is now an American citizen.

Mr. Simeus told reporters in Port-au-Prince Saturday that his citizenship should not be an issue, since he was born in Haiti. He is quoted as saying he will do "everything possible" to participate in the island nation's first presidential election since the ouster of former chief of state Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Mr. Simeus has lived in the United States for more than 40 years and owns one of this country's largest black-owned businesses, Texas-based Simeus Foods International.

Haiti's official list of 32 presidential candidates includes two former presidents, Rene Preval and Leslie Manigat, as well as Guy Philippe, leader of the rebellion that forced Mr. Aristide to step down and leave the country last year in February 2004.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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