Haitian elections discredited by fraud

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), in an attempt to silence its critics, opened up a selection of its vote tallies to public inspection. Seventy-eight out of 13,000 were randomly selected and then inspected. One hundred percent of this sample was found to be invalid. (Haiti Sentinel, Dec. 2)

The CEP threw out the 78 fraudulent tallies, but still went ahead and decided not to review how they were counted and how the counting was conducted. They declared the vote count “official,” with Jovenel Moïse of the governing Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale (PHTK) coming in first with 33 percent and Jude Célestine, running for the Alternative League for Progress and Haitian Emancipation (LAPEH), second, with 25 percent of the vote.

Célestin has endorsed a statement by a group of eight Haitian political parties saying that he will not contest the next round of voting on Dec. 27, but he has not officially withdrawn.

The U.S. government invested $30 million in these elections. The European Community sent in teams of observers. Both were quick to accept the results of these elections. What this means is that the imperialist powers support the policies of Martelly’s PHTK government and want to see them continued under Moïse.

Martelly has announced that he is taking steps to reinstitute the Haitian army. This instrument of state power will make it easier for the bourgeois rulers to repress and exploit the Haitian people and guarantee “stability.” (Haïti-Liberté, Dec. 2)

The Haitian people had a vastly different perspective. They wanted their votes counted fairly. They wanted to run their own country and it was obvious that extensive ballot stuffing and other fraud had been perpetuated to produce favorable results for the PHTK.

A U.S. delegation of election monitors from the National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers said the voting arrangements “fell far short of minimum standards for fair elections” and called for an independent investigation. (Haïti-Liberté, Nov. 25)

The Haitian people came out in the tens of thousands both in Port-au-Prince and nationwide to protest the CEP and to demand a fair vote. This happened day after day at the call of LAPEH, Fanmi Lavalas and Dessalines Children Platform (Pitit Dessalines), three of the opposition parties.

After Martelly resigned, some of the protesters raised a call for a transitional government and completely new elections.

In a country where many working people live without electricity or telephone service such massive and frequent demonstrations reflect a deep anger.

Both the Catholic hierarchy and the Protestant churches in Haiti called for an independent investigation and examination of the Aug. 9 and Oct. 25 elections.

The new U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Peter Mulrean, said he hoped the new Haitian president would be chosen by the ballot box rather than in the streets. He was speaking at a Christmas party held at his private residence. (Radio Metropole, Dec. 6)

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