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Haiti - Elections : Alarming facts and irregularities observed
25/11/2010 07:47:48

Haiti - Elections : Alarming facts and irregularities observed
Several organizations of civil society, engaged in observing the electoral process and signatory of the present, have the duty to communicate to the public some of their findings, concerns and recommendations, in order to lead to the realization of credible elections in the country and avoid a post-election crisis.

The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has so far, respected for the most part, the major stages of the electoral process. In technical terms, dispositions are made for the elections, of November 28, 2010. Alongside these positive points, the undersigned organizations of this "Preliminary Election Observation Report" wish to reveal their worries and concerns about the alarming facts and irregularities found.

Violence and insecurity:
In many parts of the country, clashes between supporters, aggression of candidates and attacks perpetrated against political officials were recorded. Cities, theatre of these barbaric acts are among other, among others, Aquin, Anse d’Hainault, Tiburon, Cayes, Gonaïves, Port-au-Prince, Cité-Soleil, Pétion-ville.

In most of these cases, candidates close to power in place are fingered.

Meanwhile, it grows in Cap Haitien and Port-au-Prince a worrying climate of insecurity, amid protests against the UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and against the present Government.

In these situations, the Police Nationale d'Haiti (PNH) and the judiciary shown respectively to disturbing passivity and complicity obvious vis-à-vis the troublemakers. Moreover, the means implemented in these events indicate that it's not spontaneous popular reaction, but action sponsored by organized sectors , with substantial resources.

In these situations, the Police Nationale d'Haiti (PNH) and the judiciary respectively show a disturbing passivity and complicity obvious vis-à-vis the troublemakers. Moreover, the means implemented in these events indicate that it's not spontaneous popular reaction, but action sponsored by organized sectors, with substantial resources.

The signatories of this, wonder, puzzled, if the purpose of these disorders is not to create a climate of insecurity and intimidation such as to prevent a massive turnout in elections.

They point out that the Haitian National Police (HNP) and the judiciary should stand above political parties, protecting the electoral process, the public and prosecute those responsible. Given the degree of frustration of the Haitian people unwilling to accept the results imposed by violence, fear and intimidation, slippage can lead to uncontrollable outbursts.

Irregularities in the electoral process:
So far, serious doubts persist about the reliability of the preparation of voter lists. In this regard, it is appropriate to mention some disturbing facts:

The CEp has set aside the National Identification Office (ONI), in the process of registration of applications for transfer from one polling station to another, which is normally the responsibility of the ONI;

The establishment by the CEP, of a special database implemented by the Centers for Operation and Verification (COV);

The acceptance, without justification, by the CEP after the prescribed date, of a special list of thirty-five thousand (35,000) voters, provided by the ONI;

The difference of 71.030 voters which exist between the lists displayed by the CEP and those of the National Office of Identification.

All these facts show that the Elections Law was not followed by the CEP in the above decisions.

While some efforts have been made by the CEP in the field of communication, it is nevertheless true that the electoral body has not always shown transparency in the preparation of the electoral list and partial electoral lists to ensure everyone involved in the process as well as observers, on the reliability of the lists presented. Also, organizations signatory to the present, they all formulate their reservations about the regularity of these lists.

Moreover, these organizations note that few days before the election, an absolutely illegal operation of replacement of Supervisors in the voting centers and members of polling stations is in progress. This operation was denounced by various political parties, some electoral advisers, and threatens to undermine the electoral process, because the reactions of anger and violence it causes.

Indeed, under Article 11 of the Elections Law, supervisors should be recruited by competition and their main responsibility is to Oversee the voting centers and distribute sensitive material that is to say, ballots, forms, minutes etc. As members of the polling stations, under Article 140 of the Law, they are recruited by lot from lists previously provided by political parties, sixty (60) days before the election.

This replacement operation, arbitrary and unilateral of supervisors and members of polling stations is a flagrant violation of the Election Law. it answered without any doubt to a political logic that can only discredit the electoral process.

Political parties also condemned the establishment for no apparent reason, of new polling centers in places where they are easily controlled by leaders of political parties or other persons who would benefit from cheating in the election and thus influence, voting results.

With all these considerations, the organizations signing this
Urge the Government to meet its solemn responsibilities as laid down by the Haitian Constitution of 1987 and the Laws of the Republic, that is to say, to guarantee the safety of any person operating on national territory and maintain the public peace, before, during and after elections;

Recommend candidates, whatever party they belong to renounce violence;

Require that the Electoral Law be strictly observed at all stages of the electoral process and in particular that center supervisors and members of polling stations illegally appointed are removed before the election.

Ask the CEP to organize in the spirit of Article 26 of the Electoral Law, before polling day, a special audit of the electoral register, in which observers and representatives of political parties, with the assistance of computer experts, could ensure that no bias has been introduced in the preparation of voter lists;

Urge the CEP to make available to observers and political parties the "Procedures Manual" of the Center Tab to fully inform all stakeholders of the dispositions in each situation and avoid a repeat of that famous quarantine votes which marred the senatorial elections of 2009;

Finally Invite people to not be intimidated by acts of violence but to go to the polls en masse to perform their civic duties and defend their political rights.

Port-au-Prince, November 23, 2010
Organizations signing this preliminary report:
Conseil d’Observation Electorale (CNO)
Initiative de la Société Civile, (ISC),
Réseau Nationale de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH)
Conseil Haïtien des Acteurs non Etatiques (CONHANE)
Centre d’Education, de Recherches et d’Actions en Sciences Sociales et Pénales (CERESS)
Mouvman Fanm Aktif Kafou (MOFKA)

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