Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Our Work

Residents of the Citi Soleil neighborhood line up to cast their ballot in Haiti's presidential and legislative elections in Port-au-Prince

BAI and IJDH work to protect the right of Haitians to select their government through fair elections. Using public advocacy and legal analysis, IJDH works to ensure that the international community has credible information about Haiti’s political situation, and that the rights of Haitian voters are prioritized in discussions and policy. BAI collaborates with grassroots groups and rural communities to help insert human rights issues into the campaign and promote candidate accountability. IJDH and BAI also use election monitoring to gather and disseminate real time information on the progress of elections in Haiti.

For the latest elections news, analysis and information, see the Haiti Elections Blog.


Background to 2015 Elections

The administration of President Michel Martelly came to power in 2011 through deeply flawed elections with outsized involvement by powerful countries outside Haiti. This administration proposed several Provisional Electoral Councils (CEPs) to oversee elections between 2012 and 2014, none of which met constitutional requirements, and none of which were approved by Parliament. As a result, no elections have been held since, though legislative elections were constitutionally required in 2011 and 2013.

woman voting

As a result of these election delays, the terms of all but 10 members of Parliament expired on January 12, 2015. With Parliament unable to act, President Martelly began governing without parliamentary oversight, in violation of the Haitian Constitution.  A new CEP, regarded by most stakeholders as credible, has been established to administer presidential, legislative and local elections scheduled for three dates in 2015: August 9, October 25 and December 27.  In these elections, Haitian voters will elect over 5,000 public officials, including a new President, 20 Senators, 118 Deputies and thousands of local officials.

BAI and IJDH strategies to promote fair elections include:

  • An online groundsourcing platform where Haitians can report by text message on any irregularities in voter registration and voting, as well as documenting initial election day results around the country
  • An accessible elections blog, produced by a collaboration including BAI/IJDH, featuring legal analysis, press releases and media interviews to inform international media and serve as a watchdog for international involvement in Haiti’s elections
  • Working with rural communities in BAI’s Civic Engagement Program to develop strategies for holding elected officials accountable and inserting human rights into election debates
  • Applying pressure on international governments and public officials to support initiatives that will promote democracy and development in Haiti


Haiti Elections Blog – expert analysis of recent developments, legal resources, voting resources and fact check.

Haiti 2017: From Demonstration Election to Electoral Coup” Haiti Action Committee, February 21, 2017

Haiti’s Eroding DemocracyJacobin, February 13, 2017

Haiti’s Unrepresentative Democracy: Disenfranchisement and Disillusionment in the November 20 Elections” (report) National Lawyers Guild, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, February 6, 2017

Executive Summary: English, Français

Jovenel Moise sworn in as Haiti’s new presidentAl Jazeera, February 7, 2017

Haiti set to welcome a new president on TuesdayMiami Herald, February 6, 2017

Human Rights Lawyers Call Haitian Electoral Court’s Verification a Lost Opportunity” (BAI/IJDH press release), January 10, 2017

Le BCEN a rendu son verdict pour les présidentielleseHaiti Network, January 3, 2017

Haiti orders review of presidential vote resultsJamaica Observer, December 20, 2016

Au Centre de tabulation des votes (CTV), la vérification se fait difficilementLe Nouvelliste, December 20, 2016

As Haitians observe International Human Rights Day, lawyers concerned that low turnout and voter exclusion indicate threats to Haitians’ right to vote“, (BAI/IJDH press release), December 10, 2016

Breakdown of Preliminary Election Results in HaitiCenter for Economic and Policy Research, December 6, 2016

Haiti voters set to elect a new president in the midst of hurricane recovery effortsMiami Herald, November 19, 2016

Rapport d’enquête sur l’état d’avancement des travaux de réparation/réhabilitation des centres de vote suite au passage de l’ouragan MatthewObservatoire Citoyen pour l’Institutionnalisation de la Démocratie, November 17, 2016

Aristide recadré par quatre des cinq principaux candidats à la présidenceLe Nouvelliste, November 8, 2016

L’ouragan Mathieu et ses répercussions sur l’organisation électoraleOrganisation des Etats Americains, October 11, 2016

Rerun elections in Haiti postponed due to Hurricane MatthewMiami Herald, October 5, 2016

Democracy Discouraged: International Observers and Haiti’s 2015 Elections” (report) National Lawyers Guild, International Association of Democratic Lawyers and Haiti Support Group, September 19, 2016

Haiti kicks off presidential campaigning with a timid startMiami Herald, August 23, 2016

Haiti – Elections : A tool to fight against electoral fraudHaitiLibre, July 19, 2016

Will a Haiti election without U.S. dollars undermine the vote?Miami Herald, July 18, 2016

Haiti – Politic : D-Day for Jocelerme PrivertHaitiLibre, June 21, 2016

Haiti panel calls for re-run of presidential electionsMiami Herald, May 30, 2016

Clinton’s Long ShadowJacobin, May 27, 2016

Moïse Jean-Charles écrit à Barack ObamaLe Nouvelliste, April 25, 2016

As Haiti misses presidential runoff deadline, protests scheduledMiami Herald, April 23, 2016

Don’t rush Haiti’s presidential vote,” (op-ed by OAS ambassador Sanders) Miami Herald, April 20, 2016

60 Diaspora Groups and Leaders Ask Kerry to Drop U.S. Resistance to Haiti Vote Fraud Inquiry (IJDH press release), April 7, 2016

Letter from the Haitian-American Community to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Elections in Haiti, April 7, 2016

Haiti’s presidential elections dilemma: to recount or not?” Miami Herald, March 30, 2016

Haitian Prime Minister Rejected by Parliament, Why and What Comes Next?Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch, March 21, 2016

Michel Martelly, Haiti’s President, Departs Without a SuccessorThe New York Times, February 7, 2016

Rep Clarke writes to Secretary Kerry urging free, fair elections and responsible transition of power, February 5, 2016

Haiti faces growing crisis as election chief resignsJamaica Observer, January 29, 2016

Democracy on Hold in Haiti,” (Editorial) The New York Times, January 26, 2016

Protesters Demand That President Martelly ResignThe New York Times, January 24, 2016

Haiti cancels Sunday presidential runoff electionsMiami Herald, January 22, 2016

I will not participate in Haiti’s farce of a presidential election,” (Op-ed by candidate Jude Celestin) Miami Herald, January 21, 2016

U.S. Presses for Haiti Runoff Vote Amid Fears of Violence and Fraud,” The New York Times, January 21, 2016

Congresswoman Waters Urges Secretary Kerry Not to Support Flawed Elections in Haiti, January 21, 2016

Postpone election; Haiti is not ready,” (Editorial) Miami Herald, January 21, 2016

Over 140 Haitian-American Groups and Leaders Warn Kerry: Going ahead with fraudulent elections in Haiti “a recipe for unrest” (IJDH press release), January 19, 2016

U.S. Rep. Clark writes Secretary Kerry expressing “deep concern” about fraud in Haiti’s elections, January 19, 2016

U.S. Rep. Hastings writes Secretary Kerry urging a fair election process “acceptable to all”, January 8, 2016

Evaluation Commission’s Ambiguous Report May Only Deepen Haiti’s Electoral Crisis,” by IJDH Voting Rights Associate Nik Barry-Shaw, Haiti Elections Blog, January 5, 2016

Report of the National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic Lawyers Delegation on the October 25, 2015, Presidential and Legislative Elections in Haiti, November 2015

Legal Analysis

Reports and Documents


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