“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

Roger Noriega: Washington Needs to Reject Violence

From what I can tell from sources and journalists on the ground, the Parliament didn’t make a decision on replacing Privert as president and adjourned at 3 am. Some parliamentarians insist that Privert is no longer legitimate . . ....

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...