Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Fraud, Protests and Intervention in Haiti’s Elections

Protests continue all over Haiti, denouncing the fraud-marred presidential elections of October 25 and demanding that the current frontrunner, Jovenel Moise withdraw from the race. Moise, who ran for President Martelly’s party won the first round with support from only 8.7% of all registered voters, and many of his votes were likely gained through fraud. Protesters are also demanding an independent commission be created to deal with the problems of these elections; one that won’t be influenced by the international community like the Provisional Electoral Council was in 2010.

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After Haiti’s First-Round Elections, the Legacy of Intervention Looms Large

Five years after the international community helped overturn Haiti’s election results, observers are tacitly supporting an increasingly anti-democratic process.

Jake Johnston, NACLA

November 12, 2015

Members of Haiti's Anti-Narcotics Brigade Oversee Voters in Port-au-Prince (Photo by Jake Johnston)

Five years ago, Haiti’s current president, Michel Martelly, was leading street protests, alleging massive fraud on the part of the government after preliminary election results left him out of a second round. Those results, announced in early December 2010, showed Mirlande Manigat, a university professor, and Jude Célestin, the candidate backed by then president René Préval, advancing to a runoff. In third place, by just a few thousands votes, was Martelly.

Protests engulfed Haiti’s capital and other large cities throughout the country. The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince fanned the flames by issuing a statement questioning the announced results. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the U.S. later provided support to groups involved in the protests. Eventually a special mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) traveled to Haiti and recommended changing the results. It wasn’t until after the U.S. revoked the visas of leading officials and threatened to cut off aid that Célestin withdrew from the race. As a result, Martelly advanced to the second round, and eventually won the presidency.

Preliminary results of Haiti’s October 25 first-round presidential election were released last week, showing Jovenel Moïse of Martelly’s ruling PHTK party in first place with 32.8 percent of the vote and Célestin, the man Martelly replaced in 2010, with 25.3 percent. The two are set to compete in a runoff election on December 27. In third and fourth place, respectively, were Moïse Jean Charles, a former opposition senator, with 14.3 percent, and Dr. Maryse Narcisse of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party, with 7.1 percent. In a crowded field of 54 candidates, no one else secured more than four percent of the vote.


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