Half Hour for Haiti Action Alert: Help Rep. Maxine Waters Stop U.S. Taxpayers’ Good Money From Going to Bad Elections in Haiti!
September 29, 2010
Be Part of the Solution for Haiti: Make a Difference in Half an Hour a Week
Urgent Action Required
Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) is organizing elections in 60 days that exclude a large swath of political parties, including Fanmi Lavalas, Haiti’s largest party. The planned November 28 elections will be unfair and illegal. They will undermine Haiti’s democratic progress and imperil U.S. investments in Haiti’s reconstruction. Instead of insisting on democratic elections, the U.S. government is providing generous political and financial support. Rep. Maxine Waters is trying to hold the U.S. government to our democratic principles, please ask your Representative to help her, and Haiti, out.
Help Rep. Waters fight for democracy in Haiti by calling TODAY or TOMORROW to urge your Representative to sign the letter to Secretary Clinton. The letter is open for signature this week only, so call Wednesday or Thursday!
1. Dial the Capitol Switchboard – 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected with your Representative’s office. (Click here to find your Representative by name or zip-code).
2. You will be connected with the receptionist. Ask to speak to the staff person who handles international issues.
3. Whether you speak to the staffer in person, or just leave a message on his/her voicemail, here’s what to say:
“My name is ___________ and I am a constituent from __(your city)___. I am calling to ask that Representative ___________ sign Rep Waters’ letter calling on Secretary Clinton to support only fair elections in Haiti. To sign the letter, contact Kathleen Sengstock in Rep. Waters’ office, at 52201.”
4. If you are speaking to the staff person be sure to thank them for their time and ask whether they think that the Representative will sign the letter found here.
Last November, the CEP excluded 14 parties from elections for the House of Deputies and 1/3 of the Senate, at the time scheduled for February 2010. Those elections were postponed to November, and the CEP has refused to revisit the exclusion. This month, the CEP excluded 15 candidates from the Presidential elections also scheduled for November. The CEP has never issued a comprehensive explanation for these exclusions. Although some exclusions may have legal justifications, the reasons given for many exclusions, including the Fanmi Lavalas exclusion, are without merit under Haitian and international law (for more details see our legal memo, or this Op-Ed).
The November 28 elections are essential to Haiti’s democratic development and recovery from the earthquake. The next government will need to make hard decisions about reconstruction priorities that will affect the country for decades, and will need to ask its citizens to make even more sacrifices. An illegitimate, unpopular government will not be able to do either task, and could lead Haiti into years of civil unrest that will make reconstruction impossible.
Haitians are fighting the unfair elections in the streets, in the press, and at political meetings. Political organizations from across the spectrum — many of whom have agreed on little else for decades – have condemned the CEP’s exclusions. The dangers posed by the election’s flaws have been documented in the international press, a letter from dozens of U.S. civil society organizations, and a report by Sen. Richard Lugar. Despite these dangers, the UN, the OAS and the U.S. government continue to praise the elections, and promise the financial support necessary for the electoral charade to succeed.
Please help her by calling TODAY or TOMORROW to urge your Representative to join her.
For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) or human rights in Haiti, see our website, http://ijdh.org. To receive the Action Alerts (about 1-2 per month) and other correspondence, subscribe here. To keep us fighting on the front lines for justice in Haiti, donate here.