PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Profiles of leading candidates in Haiti's presidential election:
Marc Bazin, 55, conservative lawyer and economist who worked for the Morocco finance ministry from 1962 to 1968, then spent 18 years as a World Bank technocrat earning a reputation as a competent administrator.
Dubbed 'Mr. Clean' by supporters, he boasts that he never stole funds or demanded payoffs as a public official. In 1980, he was appointed finance minister by President Jean-Claude Duvalier, but was fired after five months for fighting government corruption and trying to make presidential favorites pay taxes.
Backed by a group of local industrialists and wealthy Haitian emigres, he appears to be the best-funded candidate. He has used his financing to create a well-organized party, the Movement for the Installation of Democracy, or MIDH, which he calls Haiti's 'best electoral machine.'
His main drawback is the widespread perception that he is the candidate most favored by the United States, in a country where anti-American sentiment is strong and many suspect ulterior motives in U.S. support for a transition to democracy.
Louis Dejoie Jr, 59, son of businessman Louis Dejoie, who was the main rival of the late Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier in 1957 elections said to be rigged to ensure a Duvalier victory.
The Dejoie name seems to be the principal source of his popularity. Haitians like to think how much better the last 30 years would have been if his father had won instead of Duvalier. Peasants remember his father fondly as a source of jobs at his agricultural enterprises in many parts of the country.
Dejoie, who spent the Duvalier years as a businessman farmer in Puerto Rico, is the best orator among the leading candidates and works a crowd at a political rally well, often climbing down from his platform to dance with his supporters.
His readiness to rub shoulders with peasants and slum dwellers and his fluency in the Creole, the language spoken by most Haitians -- a fluency not shared by all candidates -- has helped him overcome the political disadvantage posed by being a member of the fair-skinned mulatto elite.
He also has won respect for his attacks against members of the old regime and his promises to see former human rights violators brought to justice.
Dejoie is a firm supporter of private enterprise, but he is also seen as a populist with an unpredictable streak that could lead him into domestic and international conflicts if elected.
He revived his father's National Agriculture and Industry Party, or PAIN, attracting many enthusiastic aides and activists.
Gerard Gourgue, 61, a lawyer, human rights campaigner and owner of a private school who was briefly a member of the first provisional junta set up after the dictatorship fell in February 1986.
Gourgue is a latecomer to the campaign, having been chosen in October as the candidate of the National Front for Concerted Action, or FNC, a powerful but disparate alliance of grassroots organizations with thousands of activists.
The front's clout was shown last June when it called a series of crippling strikes that forced the junta to back down on its attempt to seize control of the polling from the independent Provisional Electoral Council.
A loose network of radical Catholic lay groups across the country seems to be supporting Gourgue, although Haiti's bishops stress the church does not have a candidate.
Gourgue is seen as a moderate, although some of the groups in the front lean to the left.
The one cloud hanging over Gourgue is his controversial decision to release from government custody several drug smugglers during his short term as the junta's justice minister.
Sylvio Claude, 53, a Protestant minister and former street vendor who is the only leading candidate of origins as humble as the Haitian majority.
Claude made his name by speaking out against human rights abuses and pressing for a higher basic wage during the dictatorship, and spent two years in jail.
In 1979, after his first term in jail, he founded Haiti's Christian Democratic Party, or PDCH.
Since the collapse of the dictatorship he has spoken out against the presence of former Duvalier associates in the army and the provisional government, calling for its overthrow.
This stance seems to have been responsible for a series of machine-gun and firebomb attacks against PDCH headquarters, and has reinforced his popularity, which is strongest in the slums of Port-au-Prince and provincial capitals.
Little is known of Claude's politics aside from his strong defense of human rights, his visceral hate for Duvalierists and his readiness to label left-wingers as communists.