[News] No! to Stolen Elections in Haiti

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Sep 10 12:15:58 EDT 2015


*ANATOMY OF AN ELECTORAL COUP*
**

Marred by outright fraud, massive voter suppression in the form of 
intimidation, and violence, the August 9^th Haitian legislative election 
was rejected by the people of Haiti. Yet, in a cynical re-write of 
history, the OAS, United States, and European Union put their stamp of 
approval on the election as a “step forward” for democracy.

As usual, the Haitian people resist. They insist on their right to fair 
elections. Angry protests across Haiti demand that the August 9th 
election be annulled.Haiti Action Committee fully supports this demand.

/Fanmi Lavalas/, the party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, 
immediately declared the sham election “an electoral coup,” calling for 
its annulment, and demanded that a commission be convened to 
investigate. Other political parties soon joined this call. Many 
candidates throughout the country have formed “candidates’ collectives” 
to defend the Haitian people’s right to free and fair elections.

*Below are some examples of the nation-wide pattern of disruption, voter 
suppression and terror that occurred during this sham election. *

*THE DECK IS STACKED*:

  *

    Poll watcher badges were only distributed to selected parties -
    PHTK, Bouclier, Verite, KID – all parties with close ties to Haitian
    president Michel Martelly.

  *

    Observer badges were distributed to fake observers, facilitating the
    movement of armed gangs between polling centers

  *

    Voters’ lists were not posted as required by the electoral law

  *

    Sustained gunfire erupted nightly in areas throughout Port-au-Prince
    and other major cities leading up to the vote. This created an
    atmosphere of fear and terror; rumors of a curfew and a ban on
    public transportation were circulated and never dismissed by the
    authorities, causing people to stay home.

  *

    Polling places were eliminated in working-class and impoverished
    communities and consolidated into difficult to access centers. Many
    people did not know where to vote, and when they did could not get
    there.

  *

    Crude and numerous errors in registered voting lists prevented
    voters from casting their vote, and drove them away from the polls.

*DAY OF THE VOTE*

  *

    Poll watchers from PHTK, Bouclier, and Verite and KID were allowed
    to enter polling sites, while other parties were excluded. By law,
    representatives of all political parties may observe the voting
    process.

  *

    Polling sites opened late or closed early in poor and working class
    communities; in some departments, close to 50% of the electorate
    were disenfranchised by sites that were closed due to violence.

  *

    Throughout the day, Radio Timoun, affiliated with the Aristide
    Foundation For Democracy, and other radio stations throughout the
    country broadcast testimony from Haitians who called in to report
    ballot stuffing, destruction of ballots, armed groups trashing
    polling sites, and people beaten and killed.

    **

  *

    Journalists and election observers photographed ballots tossed or
    stolen at multiple sites.

  *

    Duly certified election officials were suddenly removed and replaced
    by Martelly operatives at numerous polling sites.

  *

    Armed groups of men carrying assault rifles were allowed into
    polling stations by complicit police and electoral council staff.
    Photographs show some wearing the t-shirts of Martelly’s PHTK party.
    Haitian National Police were reported to stand by while ballots were
    destroyed, sites were trashed and ballots stuffed. The UN was
    nowhere to be seen.

*RESULTS – THE FIX IS IN:*

  *

    Candidates of three parties allied with Martelly – PHTK, Bouclier
    and Verite - head the list of first-round winners for the legislature.

  *

    Voter suppression was evidenced in extremely low turnout across the
    country, especially in the West - Haiti’s largest department,
    representing 41% of electorate – where violence and closure of
    voting sites were high.

  *

    Figures indicate Haiti’s electoral council, the CEP, did not
    tabulate close to 25% of the votes for Senate and almost 23% of the
    votes for Deputy.

*NO! TO STOLEN ELECTIONS*

CEP President Opont defended the elections, saying “These are the 
realities of the vote in Haiti,” and “Acts of violence are a feature of 
elections.” These false and belittling characterizations disguise the 
perpetrators of the violence. These were not random acts– this was 
systematic government-sponsored violence throughout the country bearing 
all the features of paramilitary actions reminiscent of Haiti under 
dictatorship.

Fifteen years ago, free and fair elections brought President Aristide 
and /Fanmi Lavalas/ to power on a platform of social and economic reform 
to benefit Haiti’s people. That vote was negated by the 2004 coup led by 
the US, France and Canada. Now these same powers, the OAS, and the UN 
are cheering on the Martelly government as the “electoral coup” of 
August 9^th is consolidated.

This is a moment that demands our solidarity. Haitians are reminded of a 
similar moment in the early years of dictatorship under Francois 
Duvalier.It has to stop now.We can echo the voices of Haitians 
protesting stolen elections and pre-determined outcomes. We can override 
the media embargo on what’s happening in Haiti, get the word out, and 
stand with Haiti’s popular movement to demand justice and change.

Sent by Haiti Action Committee

www.haitisolidarity.net <http://www.haitisolidarity.net> and on FACEBOOK


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863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org


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