Though many in the international community have reported satisfaction with Haiti’s second round of elections, a major issue has been ignored: voting by political party representatives. Political party representatives called mandataires are allowed to vote unchecked in Haiti’s elections and in this one, there were almost a million mandataire passes issued. Not only that but political parties who couldn’t afford to use their passes sold them to the highest bidders. This means that parties with more money were able to effectively buy more votes. Now, everyone is waiting to see how this fraud will be accounted for in the election results.
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Presidential Elections in Haiti: The Most Votes Money Can Buy
Center for Economic and Policy Research
November 3, 2015
On Monday, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced that the preliminary results of the October 25 presidential and legislative elections, expected to be announced today, would be delayed until Thursday. The delay has been attributed to the formation of a committee by the CEP to investigate allegations of fraud coming from political parties and local observer groups. The committee consists of five members of the electoral council. Of the 162 complaints received, the committee says 43 are being followed up on, though few are placing their trust in the process.
The elections were praised after there were only a few sporadic outbursts of violence, leading many in the international community to quickly conclude that there were few problems. Just as it had done in August, the Organization of American States (OAS) proclaimed the day after the vote that any problems “did not affect the overall course of the election.” After violence shut down nearly one out of every six voting centers in the August legislative elections, this was apparently the new standard by which to judge the elections.
At least a half-dozen leading presidential candidates have come out before results are even announced to denounce widespread fraud in favor of the government’s candidate, Jovenèl Moïse. The allegations have been wide ranging: replacement of ballot boxes with fakes distributed by ambulances, mass ballot box stuffing, and burning of ballots for opposition candidates. Little proof has been provided to back up these claims. But the most blatant example was there for everyone to see on election day, and was in fact anticipated by electoral officials and international observers.
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