Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti Elections at a Standstill

After former Haitian President Michel Martelly’s term expired, Haiti seems unable to hold legitimate elections to elect a new president. Jovenel Moïse of the PHTK party (Martelly’s former party) was declared the front-runner after the first round of elections. However, the verification committee set up to monitor the 2016 elections found widespread fraud and irregularities in the election. Sir Ronald Sanders, who led a Special Mission on the Organisation of American States, remarked that the Haitian population would not see the results as democratic. What is perhaps even more perplexing is how little both the United Nations and the United States are involving themselves. Normally at the forefront of pushing countries to have valid elections, both actors have failed to emphasize that in these elections.

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Commentary: Haiti: No moving out and moving on

Sir Ronald Sanders, Caribbean News Now!

June 3rd 2016

There is a certain illogic in the reaction of both the UN Secretary-General and the US State Department over the findings of a Haitian Verification Commission that evaluated the 25 October 2015 first round general elections. The Verification Commission (Cieve) presented a report on 30 May calling for the first round elections to be scrapped and the elections redone because of what it concluded were widespread fraud and irregularities.

The UN Secretary-General expressed concern that “this situation has the potential to adversely affect international support to Haiti” and “reiterates the need for a democratically elected leadership to take on the growing socio-economic and humanitarian challenges the country faces”.

What this seems to suggest is that the UN Secretary-General wishes Haiti to ignore the findings of Cieve and to proceed with a second round of elections even though the first round is regarded as seriously flawed. It is an odd position for the UN Secretary-General to adopt, particularly as, in its worldwide position on elections, the UN insists on transparency and fairness in general elections as a basis for democracy.

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