Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Former OAS Official Says Election Verification Necessary

For months, Haitians and outside advocates have been calling for a verification of the October 25 and August 9, 2015 rounds of elections, which were filled with fraud. The international community, led by the United States, has strongly opposed a verification; pushing instead for the final round of elections to be held as soon as possible. Now Ronald Sanders, the former head of the Organization of American States’ special mission to Haiti, has spoken out in support of a verification, calling it a “necessary evil” for the electoral process to regain credibility.

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Former head of OAS Haiti special mission favors vote verification

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

April 8, 2016

Ambassador Ronald Sanders

The Antiguan diplomat who led an Organization of American States’ special mission to Haiti after the country’s delayed presidential runoff set off a constitutional crisis earlier this year says verifying the disputed elections is vital to avoiding a deepening political crisis.

“It is a necessary evil in order to have long-term peace,” Ronald Sanders told the Miami Herald in an exclusive interview. “The verification process must take place. There is an awful lot of suspicions that there was fraud in that election process, and it would not suit any government that is elected without a verification process because there would always be that suspicion.”

But verification, Sanders said, should be swift in order for Haiti to quickly get back to political stability by transferring power from its current caretaker government to an elected one. Sanders’ support of a Haitian-owned investigation into the country’s disputed Oct. 25 presidential first round differs from the position of many other foreign diplomats engaged in the crisis.


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