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Edition Electronique
Vol. 10 • No. 26 •
Du 4 Jan  au  10 Jan 2017
Electronic Edition
Notre Editorial
English Wikileaks Wikileaks en français Wikileaks
Vol. 9 • No. 21 • Du 2 au 8 Décembre 2015 Translate This Article
Gunmen Fire on Radio Kiskeya Amid Tense Electoral Crisis
Paternalization: When the Creators of Crises Pose as Solvers
Haiti Election Stand-Off:
Momentum Builds for a Provisional Government to Hold New Elections
by Kim Ives


À bas la vie chère !Apart from the ruling party’s candidate Jovenel Moïse, who supposedly won 33% of the Oct. 25 first-round presidential vote, eight leading presidential candidates charge that the polling was marred by “massive fraud” and are calling for President Michel Martelly to step down unless he overhauls the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and the Haitian National Police (PNH) leadership, conditions he will almost certainly refuse.

The “Group of Eight,” or G8, includes Jude Célestin of the Alternative League for Progress and Haitian Emancipation (LAPEH), who placed second with 25% of the vote, making him eligible for the Dec. 27 run-off against Mr. Moïse. Until now, however, Mr. Célestin has publicly said he will not go to a run-off unless a deep independent review of the election is made, without formally withdrawing from the race.

Meanwhile, many thousands marched through the streets of the capital on Sun., Nov. 29 to call for a “transition,” meaning Martelly’s replacement by a provisional government and new elections, and to mark the 28th anniversary of 1987 elections which were aborted after neo-Duvalierist thugs shot and macheted would-be voters at polling places.

“The G8 is convinced that honest, free, transparent, and democratic elections cannot be had under the presidency of Joseph Michel Martelly without fundamental changes in the CEP, without changes of command in certain departmental leadership and some units of the PNH, [and] without the end of reprisals and repression by police against peaceful demonstrators,” the candidates wrote in a Nov. 29 declaration.

Dr. Maryse Narcisse of the Lavalas Family Political Organization (FL), who placed fourth, has also called for a “transition,” although she is the only leading candidate who is not part of the G8, which also includes third-place Moïse Jean Charles of the Dessalines Children Platform, fifth-place Eric Jean-Baptiste of the Socialist Action Movement (MAS), sixth-place Jean-Henry Céant of Love Haiti (Renmen Ayiti), seventh-place Sauveur Pierre Etienne of the Struggling People’s Organization (OPL), eighth-place Steven Benoit of Conviction, tenth place Samuel Madistin of the Popular Patriotic Dessalinien Movement (MOPOD), and 15th place independent Mario Andrésol, Haiti’s former police chief, well-liked by the U.S. Embassy.

Only Dr. Narcisse and one minor presidential candidate of the 54 who ran challenged the preliminary election results (announced Nov. 5) in the CEP’s National Electoral Complaints and Challenges Bureau (BCEN). On the weekend of Nov. 21-22, she and BCEN officials spot-checked about 10% of the vote tallies (procès verbaux) and found all of them tainted by fraud and other irregularities. Instead of launching a deeper investigation, the CEP simply disqualified the 7,500 votes affected and, on Nov. 24, announced essentially the same results as their preliminary count.

The Conference of Haitian Pastors (COPAH) brought moral weight to the election critics in issuing a strongly-worded Nov. 26 statement which “denounces a plot to topple the country into complete anarchy with the publication of final results of the Oct. 25 presidential election’s first round tainted by massive fraud and all sorts of irregularities.” The pastors accused the CEP and Martelly of committing an “act of high treason against the nation” and also denounced “the international community united under the infamous label ‘Core Group.’” Martelly, the CEP, and Core Group had made “a declaration of war” against the Haitian people who “must organize and mobilize activism in a spirit of solidarity and patriotic vigilance to defend themselves against their attackers,” the pastors concluded.

Then Haiti’s Catholic Bishops, led by the first Haitian Cardinal Chibly Langlois, landed a second bombshell with a declaration that their 1,236 observers, “along with other observers,” had found “that glaring irregularities and fraud marred... the electoral process.”

It is “a recurring problem that has become commonplace,” the bishops wrote, and “unacceptable whenever it surfaces.”

“Today, more than ever, we condemn it with the utmost rigor,” they concluded, calling on the CEP to “report the truth about what really happened and who discredited the results” and to establish “more transparency in the electoral machine in general, and especially at the tabulation center.”

The G8's challenge to Martelly was briefly undermined, and Mr. Célestin’s good faith questioned, on Mon., Nov. 30, when Scoop FM released a document purportedly signed by LAPEH’s leader former Sen. Jean Hector Anacasis. It proposed to the CEP to postpone the second-round until Mon., Jan. 18 (because Haitians’ “collective behavior is not well suited to electoral concerns during the holiday season”) and to replace four of the nine CEP members – Marie Carmelle Paul Austin, Ricardo Augustin, Pierre Manigat Junior, Vijonet Demero – with four former CEP counselors proposed by LAPEH – Rosemond Pradel, Micheline Figaro, Harold Julien, et Louiner Jeanmary. It also proposed holding the presidential run-off separately from the legislative and municipal races.

When confronted with the leak, former Sen. Simon Dieuseul Desras, who abandoned his presidential campaign to join LAPEH’s,  exclaimed that it was an “internal document” which was “not supposed to be public yet,” while Mr. Anacasis disavowed any knowledge at all of the document, suggesting it was a fake.

Whatever the reality, it is clear that, in Haiti’s current angry mood, it will be very difficult for Mr. Célestin to go to any run-off on any date against Mr. Moïse of the Haitian Bald Headed Party (PHTK). Although Washington and its “Core Group” still stand foursquare behind Martelly, there are surely discussions underway in the U.S. State Department about what an “acceptable transition” might look like.

In September 2013, the Dessalines Coordination (KOD), now a party, held a well-attended forum in Port-au-Prince of popular organization leaders from around Haiti. That forum’s resolutions perspicaciously declared that that no free, fair, and sovereign elections could be held in Haiti with Martelly in power nor with MINUSTAH, the UN military occupation force, in place.

Instead, KOD proposed a formula similar to what Haiti did in 1989, after the fall of the dictator Gen. Prosper Avril: the formation of a 13 member Council of State which would lead the country with a judge drawn from Haiti’s Supreme Court. The Council of State’s members would be drawn from key sectors of Haitian society: peasant organizations, popular organizations, political parties, non-aligned parties, women’s organizations, unions, the business sector, vodou, Protestant, and Catholic sectors, students, young people, and civil society.

This type of provisional government delivered Haiti its freest and fairest election ever on Dec. 16, 1990, when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was first elected. No UN blue-helmets (although proposed) were allowed to be deployed.

“The Council of State would sit down with the Supreme Court judge to find a democratic formula to name a government,” the final KOD resolutions read. “That government would put in place a democratic Provisional Electoral Council which would hold a general election in the country for all the empty posts in a time frame of no more than six months.”

The KOD forum also warned against all foreign meddling in Haiti’s election.

Unfortunately, the U.S. and its “Core Group” will now try to use MINUSTAH to enforce its agenda, which was what KOD sought to prevent. Martelly has also decreed the creation of a new Haitian Army, another counter-revolutionary force. Now, it will be up to the Haitian people’s militancy and perseverance to defend their democracy and win back their sovereignty against odds as difficult as those their ancestors faced.

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