The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Haiti announced the results of the Oct. 25 presidential elections on Nov. 5. The most significant figure reported was the level of participation: only 26 percent of registered voters went to the polls.
Almost every party of the 54 participating in these elections — with the exception of the winner — rejected the results as being based on deliberate fraud, miscounts and ballot stuffing.
According to the CEP’s rounded results, Jovenèl Moïse, of President Michel Martelly’s ruling PHTK, came in first with 33 percent.
Jude Célestin, of LAPEH, came in second with 25 percent. He also came in second in the 2010 vote, but was de-selected by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in favor of Martelly.
Moïse Jean-Charles, of Pitit Dessalines, came in third with 14 percent, and Maryse Narcisse of the Lavalas Family (FL) came in fourth with 7 percent.
Narcisse’s lawyer, Gervais Charles, told the Miami Herald that Lavalas was “contesting the credibility of the process,” but we “know who we are going before to plead our case, the same people who are at the base of all the violations.” The FL, led by Narcisse, has held demonstrations of thousands through the streets of Port-au-Prince, demanding that the CEP recount the ballots, according to videos posted on her Facebook page.
Pitit Dessalines, according to its Facebook page, held a major nighttime demonstration in Cap-Haitien, challenging the vote count. Moïse Jean-Charles declared Nov. 9 that he and his party were launching “a juridical-political battle” against the results, and said, “We cannot let them trample the vote.” (Haïti-Liberté, Nov. 11-17)
A series of protests, meetings, declarations and press conferences have been held throughout Haiti. Many say, according to Haïti-Liberté, that the CEP was harkening back “to the period of official elections by dictatorial regimes” where the “vote settled nothing.” The cops have been picking up discarded tires off the streets to keep protesters from setting them on fire in burning barricades.
In Haitian overseas communities, there has been a call to condemn and protest the electoral fraud. The Boston branch of FL protested before the Haitian Consulate there on Nov. 13.
Some left political parties, like the Coordination Dessalines (KOD), boycotted the elections, saying they could not be fair under military occupation by the U.N. occupation forces in Haiti, called Minustah. KOD and other groups called the CEP’s count an electoral coup d’état.
Minustah and the U.S. role
Minustah’s flickr account showed pictures of its forces unloading pallets of ballots with forklifts from a large cargo plane. They put the ballots into trucks and then provided an armed escort to polling sites, where they were turned over to election workers. There are also pictures of heavily armed Minustah troops patrolling popular neighborhoods.
The U.S. government acknowledged spending $30 million on the Oct. 25 Haitian election.
Minustah was originally set up in 2004 to replace U.S., French, Canadian and Chilean troops that occupied Haiti after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped and sent to the Central African Republic on a U.S. Air Force plane.
Minustah veils U.S. military domination of Haiti. When the command structure of Minustah was damaged by the 2010 earthquake, the Pentagon rushed in nearly 20,000 troops until its veil could be restored.
Some media accounts report that the international community — meaning official U.S. opinion — is satisfied with the election because there was no violence. Yet cops stomped a protester to death. And someone assassinated Pitit Dessalines militant Maxo Gaspard in his party’s office. By their enormous abstention, the Haitian people showed just how dissatisfied they are.
But the Haitian people have been fighting to preserve their independence for 211 years, and they are not going to let a bogus election derail their struggle.