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Haiti - Elections : Colin Granderson an excessive optimism
29/10/2010 11:30:41

Haiti - Elections : Colin Granderson an excessive optimism
While the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has developed a bleak picture Wednesday of the cholera epidemic is spreading rapidly, more than 5.363 persons infected are hospitalized, including 10% under 5 years (provisional assessment october 26/27 not yet announced by the Government of Haiti) and that the disease made officially 305 deaths as of October 27 (but more probably between 348 and 380 until the official figures) Colin Granderson, Head of the joint OAS/CARICOM said that "despite a series of political , logistical and administrative obstacles, process is progressing steadily."

The Head of the Mission is convinced that the "participation to the presidential and legislative elections which are convened Haitians, on November 28 should be satisfactory in spite of the cholera epidemic [...] I don't have crystal ball, but I think that there exist a certain number of factors [?] who will allow a satisfactory participation in the poll envisaged in one month." Believing that "a good election [credible?] must have a participation rete of voters largely higher than 11%" He believed that "people will vote [...] even threats to boycott Elections disappear [?]..."

"To convince it is necessary to be convinced..." undoubtedly Colin Granderson is convinced, however, we find it hard to share this optimistic about the participation rate of voters in the upcoming elections. These elections are conducted in a unique context, where 3 important new stress factors are added (to those already common in elections in Haiti)

  • Thousands of bandits escaped, including some very dangerous, spreading terror in the country
  • 1.5 million people live in IDP camps, in sometimes extreme conditions
  • The cholera epidemic that threatens to spread adds fears.

With these three factors, it is more than belief in the need to consider a high participation rate but faith. Our citizens have no doubt the desire to change the country, but it is necessary that they can overcome their daily problems, that a climate of security is established (which is not the case beyond the discourse) and that cholera does not spread in the country. Much to overcome for a mere human being surviving in makeshift shelters for 10 months...


Colin Granderson, however, recognizes that the path to a successful election is "not yet quite clear," noting that election campaigns are complex and that the increase in violence to the approach of the poll remains a concern. He recalls that another challenge for the mission is to make sure of the distribution of the identity cards, which poses major logistic problems, and which relates to 300.000 cards for the moment. Finally he confirmed that the database established by the National Identification Office (ONI) and sent to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) that includes 4.6 million voters, including 6.1% of persons enrolled but died. The purification of the list could not be made "these people can not be eliminated without a death certificate," which is the situation in a real "headache," said Granderson.

"Despite all the problems, there is a dynamic in the country that tries to organize elections," said Chief of Mission OAS / CARICOM.

S/ HaitiLibre

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