Originally: Confidences d’un ambassadeur sortant….
Note by James Morrell.
In his remarks to the Haitian press reported June 15, 2012, the ambassador cites the discrepancy between the poll returns and published results as the factor motivating the U.S. objections to these results. He said, “We had information based on the polling returns that the results of the CEP did not correspond with the reality of the popular vote.”
At the time, however, the embassy’s press releases based the U.S. dissent on the generalized reports of domestic and international electoral observers: “The Provisional Electoral Council?s announcement of preliminary results from the November 28 national elections that are inconsistent with the published results of the National Election Observation Council (CNO), which had more than 5,500 observers and observed the vote count in 1,600 voting centers nationwide, election-day observations by official U.S. observers accredited by the CEP, and vote counts observed around the country by numerous domestic and international observers.” These press statements were released on December 7 and 8, 2010.
On December 12, the Haiti Democracy Project published the first photographic evidence of the discrepancy between the returns and the published results. The significance was to move the issue from the realm of observer reports, however numerous, to that of incontrovertible documentary evidence. A week later, we were invited to come to the State Department to explain our methods and procedures.
Thus, U.S. suspicions were well aroused before the Haiti Democracy Project released its report on December 12. And, the most important factor convincing the United States to persist with its objections until the results were corrected was the resolute action of the Haitian people in taking to the streets in protest, which we witnessed in Port-au-Prince and the provinces.
However, although no U.S. official has acknowledged it, we also believe that the presentation of our photographic evidence was an additional reinforcing factor that could have stiffened U.S. resolve to finally send a verification mission to correct the count.
Ambassador Merten’s remarks to the Haitian press, June 15, 2012, in Le Nouvelliste
U.S. press release, December 7, 2010
U.S. press release, December 8, 2010
Haiti Democracy Project’s presentation of photographic evidence, December 12, 2010