The following action alert was issued by the Bay Area-based Haiti Action Committee.
On a Lavalas campaign sweep throughout Haiti, former President Aristide and Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the Fanmi Lavalas presidential candidate, have been greeted by huge enthusiastic crowds. There is much concern, however, that the right wing is putting in place the usual apparatus of violence, denying voters their electoral cards, and instituting sudden changes of polling stations to suppress the popular vote, steal ballots and change the vote count.
The Haitian people are determined that their votes will be counted in the Oct. 9 election. After the vote, they will mobilize to defend their ballot. Our support outside of Haiti is crucial, as the corporate media will undoubtedly dutifully report the official right-wing, anti-democratic version as the elections unfold.
The concerns below are being expressed by individuals and grassroots organizations regarding Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, known by the acronyms KEP in Kreyol or CEP in French. This agency, supposedly in charge of organizing free and fair elections, is notorious for being at the center of the massive fraud that has marred recent elections in Haiti. Of great concern also are the official teams of observers headed by the [Organization of American States] and other international bodies and their local teams that in the past have hailed and supported the CEP’s fraudulent results as legitimate.
1. The electoral council or CEP is headed by a leading figure of the 2004 kidnapping coup d’etat, Leopold Berlanger.
2. The main coup leader/sweatshop owner, Andy Apaid, now plays a central role as lead consultant in the CEP’s tabulation center, where the official vote counting results are collected and finalized for publication.
3. The CEP under Berlanger’s leadership has failed to implement a number of recommendations of the Electoral Verification Commission. This failure has allowed fraudulent parliamentary results that favored [former President Michel] Martelly/right-wing supporters to stand.
4. Berlanger’s CEP is insistent on quarantining all votes from a precinct where a candidate obtains 200+ votes out of a total of 550 ballots per precinct. Under the pretext of preventing fraud, perfectly valid ballots are eliminated from the count because a popular candidate is receiving “too many” votes. Officials of Fanmi Lavalas have been protesting this measure as it arbitrarily discards valid ballots in precincts that will have large turnouts in favor of their candidates. Quarantined or provisional ballots in Haiti end up not being counted and are likely to be destroyed.
5. A leading figure of the 2004 coup d’etat, Rosny Desroches, is in charge of the officially designated election observer teams of 1,500 individuals. According to radio reports, funding for the observer teams came through the National Democratic Institute working in collaboration with International Foundation for Electoral Services. While the International Republican Institute does not have offices in Haiti, it operates from the Dominican Republic through a number of existing organizations in Haiti. [Both NDI and IRI are part of the U.S. government’s misnamed National Endowment for Democracy; the IRI was implicated in the 2004 coup in Haiti.]
6. It has been reported that the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians is organizing an election observer team of 200 people. NOAH has worked closely with the OAS and the State Department, both of which have been ardent supporters of fraudulent elections in Haiti.
7. The OAS is planning to deploy a team of observers. The OAS has been thoroughly discredited in Haiti, given its recent stand in support of the massive fraud orchestrated by the CEP in the 2015 elections.
The OAS’s record of support for fraudulent elections in Haiti includes its intrusive role in the 2010-11 elections that resulted in the Martelly presidency.
All this means that the U.S. government and its allies will have their hands all over how the ballots are counted in this upcoming election. As the people of Haiti continue to mobilize for Lavalas, we have to do all we can to ensure that their voices and their votes are respected. One person, one vote. Tout moun se moun. Every person counts.
The action alert urged people to contact Secretary of State John Kerry at 202-647-9510 or tweet @JohnKerry; President Barack Obama at 202-456-1111; and the OAS at 202-370-5000 or fax 202-458-3967. Tell them three things: 1) The Haitian people have had enough of U.S./UN-supported fraudulent elections. 2) Respect the vote of the Haitian majority. 3) Stop U.S. financing of the terror campaign by a privileged minority against the poor majority, who are fighting for democracy in Haiti.