Haiti - FLASH : Official, the CEP rejects the requests of recusal of all the complainants
Text of the decision of the CEP :
In the year two thousand sixteen and on Saturday seventeen (17) December at 2:30 the members of the Provisional Electoral Council, meeting in extraordinary session, at the head office of the CEP located in No 72 Rue Stephen Archer, Petion ville.
Having regard to the amended Constitution of the Republic of Haiti;
Having regard to the electoral decree of 2 March 2015;
Having regard to the decree of 18 January 2008 revising the General Regulations of the Provisional Electoral Council;
Having regard to the political agreement of 5 February 2016 for institutional continuity;
Having regard to the Order of 29 March 2016 appointing the members of the Provisional Electoral Council;
Having regard to the publication of the Code of Ethics and the Rules of Electoral Disputes of Thursday, May 5, 2016;
Having regard to the Order of 27 May 2016 extending the mandate of the Provisional Electoral Council;
Having regard to the publication of the Rules of Electoral Litigation as amended in the Official Gazette Le Moniteur of Thursday 24 November 2016;
Considering the request of the candidate for the Presidency Jovenel MOISE dated 14 December 2016;
Considering the request of Candidate for the Presidency Jude CELESTIN dated December 14, 2016;
Considering the request of the Candidate for the Presidency Jean Charles MOISE dated December 14, 2016;
Considering the request of Maryse NARCISSE, presidential candidate, dated December 14, 2016
Considering the three (3) expeditions of decisions rendered by the Office of National Electoral Disputes (BCEN) dated 14 December 2016;
Considering that, on December 13, 2016, the Candidate for the Presidency Jovenel Moise demanded, by request addressed to the President and Members of the CEP, the disqualification of recusation of Advisers Kenson POLYNICE, Jean Simon SAINT HUBERT and Josette DORCELY on the grounds that they had not initialed the results published by the Council on 8 November 2016.
Considering that on 14 December 2016 the candidates for the Presidency Jude CELESTIN, Jean Charles MOISE and Maryse NARCISE, protesting parties before the BCEN, in turn solicited the recusal of the advisers who signed the preliminary results of the presidential election on 20 November due to conflicts of interest,. They also demanded the rigorous application of section 18 of the electoral decree stating that the BCEN is composed of three (3) sections.
Considering that, being invited to read their appeal to the BCEN by the President of the Tribunal, the lawyers of the protesting parties preferred to refer to their request for recusal for reasons of conflict of interest.
Considering that the National Electoral Litigation Office, by preliminary ruling, transferred the requests for recusal of the protesting parties to the Provisional Electoral Council.
Considering that they were called upon to make an oral statement of their request to the sesion of Saturday 17 December of the Provisional Electoral Council, the applicants in recusation confine themselves to their initial claims after general considerations on the challenge pending before the BCEN.
Considering that the exclusion of members of the Office of Electoral Disputes found in situations of conflict of interest is provided for in Article 18.2 of the Electoral Decree and Article 6 of the amended Electoral Dispute Resolution Rules.
Considering that the term "Récusation" used by the parties is comparable to that of "Mise à l'écart", employed both in the decree of March 2, 2015 and in the Rules of the electoral dispute amended3
Considering that the decisions of the Provisional Electoral Council are taken by the electoral advisers according to the majority prescribed by the decree of 2 March 2016. Thus, the signing of the preliminary results of the first round of the ballot on 28 November 2016 by advisers and the non-signature of this document by others are part of the deliberation procedure of the Council and should not be considered as situations of conflict of interest.
Considering that the Electoral Litigation Office is composed of three independent institutions, in particular the CEP, the Justice and the lawyer corporation, it is not in the Provisional Electoral Council's powers to know the constitution of the BCEN.
Considering that it is necessary for the Provisional Electoral Council to pronounce, by a single decision, on the applications filed first by the candidate for the Presidency Jovenel MOISE and then by the candidates for the Presidency Jude CELESTIN, Jean Charles MOISE and Maryse NARCISSE, parties protesters before the BCEN, because having the same purpose and the same finalitie.
The Provisional Electoral Council, after deliberation, took the following decision :
1. In form, Welcomes the challenges of the candidates for the Presidency Jovenel MOISE, Jude CELESTIN, Jean Charles MOISE and Maryse NARCISSE.
2. In substance, Rejects these claims because unfounded.
3. Declares that the Council is not competent to rule on the constitution of BCEN
4. Orders the communication of this decision to the parties requesters.
5. Says that this decision will be transferred to the Office of National Electoral Litigation (BCEN) for appropriate action at the diligence of the Executive Director."