“I want to congratulate you for the leadership. I know you played a very important role in the last election when you sent a team and basically helped the will of the people become a reality, because it wasn’t so before your visit.”

– Former prime minister Laurent Lamothe

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Latest Haiti Democracy News

The Electoral Crisis in Haiti

A weekly report to congressional staff By Guichard Doré. Former presidential adviser, specialist in education and governance, economist and sociologist. Tel. (509) 3124-8888 Analysis The provisional president of Haiti, Jocelerme Privert, recently installed a Verification Commission in the midst of a political and electoral crisis. Privert was originally placed in power pursuant to an agreement on February 5, 2106 reached between outgoing president Michel Martelly and the two houses of parliament. His charge was to complete the electoral process begun in 2015. The agreement made no mention of a verification commission. The constitution reserves official evaluation of elections to an independent electoral commission. So the Verification Commission is widely decried as illegal and unconstitutional, notably by members of parliament, the Tet Kalé party (PHTK) formed by former president Martelly and its allies, and a part of the population. The Verification Commission’s scope paper was written by the opponents of the PHTK, notably the Pitit Dessalines party, Fanmi Lavalas, RNDDH (a human rights organization now involved in electoral politics), the Fusion party, and certain groups of citizens close to President Privert. Members of the lower house of parliament grouped in the Majority Bloc are protesting President Privert’s decision to launch this commission in violation of the February 5, 2016 agreement. They want  to assure that President Privert leaves power on May 14, 2016 as per the agreement. They would leave in place Prime Minister Enex Jean Charles to finish the electoral process. They say that President Privert wants to annul the elections, put the parliament out of business after May 9, and stay in power in a transitional regime for...

Timeline of U.S. policy choices on elections in Haiti

The United States has exerted great efforts to solidify the electoral institution in Haiti and especially to assure that there is an elected president. In 1994 we even used twenty-two thousand troops to return an elected president to office, an unprecedented (and not repeated) step for the United States to take in Latin America. Since then the policy stance of three U.S. administrations has been to overlook minor and perhaps major transgressions but to draw the line at in-your-face fraud. The following chronology shows how the United States has chosen to act or not in specific instances: U.S. case-by-case policy actions 1997. The United States did not get involved when fraud and the counting of blank votes was charged. The prime minister resigned in protest. No new elections were held and parliament expired in 1999. 2000. The United States did protest vigorously when votes for opposition senatorial candidates were simply discarded. The OAS electoral mission was pulled out. U.S. and international aid to the government was cut off formally until 2002, and actually until 2004. The United States also provided safe passage for the electoral commission president after he was threatened for trying to correct the fraud. Despite U.S. actions, the fraud was never corrected. 2005. The transitional government and the electoral commission were dragging their feet in an effort to prolong their tenure. In October 2005 the United States pressed hard for the appointment of a capable manager to get elections underway. Jacques Bernard, a Haitian businessman, was named administrator. In 2006 he ran the three freest and fairest elections Haiti has ever had. 2006. Despite the overall...

The Fêted and the Dead

By Michael Deibert |  A man accused of involvement in gross human rights abuses has extra-constitutionally assumed the presidency to oversee new elections. The attitude of the international community toward this symbolizes the hard core of Haitian impunity. “Neither the UN mission, the US Embassy or any other foreign presence in the country seems to care much about the killings of a bunch of poor nobodies more than a decade ago. And so they stand and applaud, each clap pushing a chance for justice – whatever that might look like – ever farther away. “Amid the diplomatic pomp and popping champagne corks, one thinks of the dead of La Scierie, still turning in their unquiet graves.” Click here for the full...

Associated Press: Haiti Democracy Observers Saw Few Irregularities

James Morrell, director of the Washington-based research group Haiti Democracy Project, noted that charges of rampant fraud have arisen after many Haitian elections, notably in the 2000, 2006 and 2010 cycles. But his organization’s 180 election monitors saw relatively few irregularities in October and he believes Moise is the legitimate leading candidate. Click here for full...

Le scandale qui n’y était pas

      Contents (cntl + click to go to page) Executive summary. 1 The observer’s report 2 Poll workers’ commentary. 6 Statistical examination of the returns. 8 About the mission. 11 Un rapport de la huitième mission électorale de l’organisation nationale pour l’avancement des haïtiens et le projet pour la démocratie en Haïti. Le 21 novembre 2015, encore un autre scandale à bouleversé les elections en Haïti. “Le CEP a vérifié les fraudes massives” à déclaré Maryse Narcisse sur les ondes de la Radio Métropole.  “La décision du BCEN est scandaleuse selon le RDNNH,” le 24 novembre.   Le conseil électoral a examiné un lot de soixante-dix-huit procès-verbaux initialement décrits comme un échantillon aléatoire, plus tard, comme une sélection par un parti politique. Il a mis à l’écart tous les soixante-dix-huit examinés ce qui met en doute la crédibilité de l’élection et renforce la revendication de l’opposition.  Si tous les soixante-dix-huit procès-verbaux de l’échantillon sont mauvais qu’en est-il de la quantité non examinée?   Des soixante-dix-huit procès-verbaux,  treize sont venus d’un centre de vote à Cité Soleil,  dix d’un lycée à Hinche au Plateau central.   Au lycée de Hinche était présente une observatrice électorale de la huitième mission au cours de toute la journée électorale.  Cliquez ici pour continuer . ....

Summary Election Report

    Summary Report The elections of August 9 and October 25, 2015   Leadership Haiti had a chance to have “Mr. Elections” of 2006 lead the electoral commission. Jacques Bernard, nominated by the private sector, had run the three freest elections in Haiti’s history. Neutral and impervious to political influence, he would have strengthened the commission against the coming attacks from losing candidates seeking to overturn the results. In a self-defeating move eclipsed only by the withdrawal of the Harlan County in 1993, the United States vetoed this nomination. In Bernard’s place came a typical intriguer who had manipulated the quarantine in 2010 at President Préval’s bidding. The baleful effects of this choice would soon become apparent. Disqualification of Peaceful Candidates In the political brokering that had won the opposition’s acquiescence to elections, the prime minister had been sacked. The substitute commissioner barred him and a number of other government figures from running on various pretexts which revealed that issues from the political arena were driving electoral administration. Those barred could probably have won the presidency and at least one senate seat. The politicization was flagrant enough to prompt a U.S. senator to insert a reporting requirement in the foreign-aid bill. Qualification of Violent Criminals The total impunity for powerful figures has shredded the rule of law in Haiti and throttled economic development. In 2009 Haiti’s leading human-rights organization warned that the qualification of criminals to run for office would turn the senate into a “lair of bandits.” The organization said nothing this year, however, when the same individuals turned up as presidential and senatorial candidates. The electoral commission allowed all...