Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti voters see election as ‘fraudulent’

November 29, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitians “can recognize a fraudulent election when they see one”

and will “not respect their new government,” a rights campaigner says.

Nicole Phillips, a lawyer for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and law professor at the University of San Francisco, says fraud and irregularities Sunday will further undermine the credibility of the presidential election, Haiti Libre reported Monday.

“Haitians are frustrated because they can recognize a fraudulent election when they see one, and they think that the international community will give their blessing to this election,” Phillips said.

“I think you’ll have a Haitian people who do not respect their new government.”

Voting locations were trashed and set on fire Sunday, international elections monitors had to withdraw in the middle of the voting and some precincts closed due to outbreaks of violence, The Miami Herald reported.

Supporters of opposition candidates Michel Martelly, Charles Henri Baker and Mirlande Manigat demonstrated in major cities throughout the country, demanding the presidential and legislative elections to be voided.

Two-thirds of the 19 presidential candidates said the election results should be tossed out and called for “peaceful protests” against “massive fraud.”

“The election is ruined. It needs to be canceled,” former prime minister and presidential candidate Jacques-Edouard Alexis said.

The Provisional Electoral Council said problems were reported at only 56 of the 1,500 voting centers and that the results would, for the time being, be recognized.

United Nations envoy Edmund Mulet urged Haitians to remain calm while expressing “their deep concern at the numerous incidents that marred the elections.”

International observers acknowledged the vote was impaired by late opening of polls, confusion with electoral lists and organizational issues, but they were not prepared to say there was “massive fraud,” the Herald said.

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