Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti’s August 9th Elections Messier Than Expected

This article contrasts what actually happened with Haiti’s first round of elections to what international observers reported. While the international observers tended to be satisfied with the fact that elections were held at all, most Haitian groups reported irregularities too large to ignore. Many call for holding an entirely new election, and many have lost trust in the Council leading the elections because it was very unprepared for holding the elections on time. Overall, it seems like the parties responsible for violence and other irregularities are favored in the preliminary results reported by the Electoral Council.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Fraud, Violence, and Protests Cloud Results of Haitian Election

Jake Johnston, VICE News

September 6, 2015

On August 9, in the impoverished Cité Soleil neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, a man in plainclothes carrying an automatic weapon casually got into a crowded SUV and left the premises one of Haiti’s largest voting centers. It wasn’t yet noon on election day. Inside the center’s gate, three Haitian National Police officers sat in the shade. All 51 voting booths had been destroyed. Thousands of ballots littered the courtyard.

All across the country, the vote was held amid a climate of chaos and tension. In Chansolme, in Haiti’s rural northwest, a polling place supervisor was forced to hide under a bed for hours after being threatened by armed bandits who needed his signature to officially endorse completed ballots that they had provided. In Nippes, another supervisor was held at gunpoint and forced to sign a document canceling the election for an entire voting center. In the commune of Desdunes in the Artibonite, all five voting centers were shut down by midday.

Nationwide, turnout was estimated at 18 percent. In Haiti’s most populous West department, where President Michel Martelly’s approval rating is the lowest, that number fell to less than 10 percent of registered voters going to the polls. The final results of the first round of legislative elections will be announced on September 8, but protests have been held across the country denouncing what was seen as an unfair process. There have been calls for changes within the electoral council, and, in some cases, the outright annulment of the election.


Click HERE for the full text.

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