[News] Haitians in the Streets - Battle the Elites

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 2 14:00:56 EDT 2016

_*Haitians in the Streets*__*- Battle the Elites*__**_

Since massive street demonstrations forced Michel Martelly to leave the 
presidency as scheduled on February 7, a provisional government led by 
Jocelerme Privert seeks to hold elections for the presidency. The 
current Haitian parliament approved the appointment of a provisional 
prime minister and cabinet on March 27, and the provisional government 
will now move to the question of elections.

The question is: under what terms will the elections be held? Will they 
be a US-mandated “run-off” of the 2 candidates selected in the previous 
corrupt round of voting, as the “international community” and the 
Haitian elites demand, or will the process start with a verification of 
the previous round to investigate voting and financial fraud as an 
outraged electorate in the streets demands.

Privert recently acceded to their call and named an investigation 
commission to look into the fraudulent elections, raising much alarm 
from the US/UN occupation forces and their local minions. Reports of 
electoral corruption are coming out in the open in Haiti, and the press 
is implicating a number of the actors known as the “international 

Privert also named a new Electoral Commission under the leadership of 
Leopold Berlanger, a USAID-funded agent who was denounced for electoral 
corruption by famed journalist Jean Dominique in his final editorial 
before he was assassinated. Their first step was to publish the 
municipal results of the fraudulent October 25th elections. This 
alarming move created more outrage and condemnation from the popular 
movement demanding transparent elections.

Because Martelly refused to hold elections throughout his 
administration, feeding the resurgence of Duvalierism in Haiti, Haitians 
began to demonstrate to demand elections. When Martelly finally agreed 
to hold elections in 2015 for Parliament on August 9 and for Parliament 
and president on October 25, his party and allied forces corrupted the 
process through ballot box violence and various forms of voter supression.

The announced result of the presidential race was a “run-off” between a 
businessman from Martelly’s party that few voters knew or voted for and 
a close associate of previous president Preval. These results had Maryse 
Narcisse, the candidate of the Fanmi Lavalas Party founded by former 
president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, finishing fourth.

The Electoral Commission scheduled two dates for a “run-off,” but the 
corruption, _reportedly coordinated by UN (and former Martelly 
government) official Sylvain Coté 
was so patently apparent that huge numbers of Haitians demonstrated in 
the streets daily, and even the second candidate refused to participate, 
causing voting to be cancelled both dates. Demonstrators discovered 
legitimate ballots on their way to being destroyed. A National Palace 
official was involved in a vehicle accident in which pre-filled-out 
ballots marked for the candidate of Martelly’s party were spilled onto 
the road, and credentials given to ruling party officials on a massive 
scale led to ballot box stuffing.

A compromise agreement, negotiated through a Parliament chosen in this 
same fraudulent electoral process, led to Martelly leaving office as 
scheduled and the formation of the interim Privert government mandated 
to hold the “run-off” on April 24. Of the interim candidates offered, 
Privert, the Minister of Interior during Aristide’s second term who 
served 26 months in prison after the 2004 coup, was the candidate most 
acceptable to the protesters demonstrating in the streets.

These demonstrators, however, were not included in this “agreement.” 
They believe Narcisse actually won the first round of the election, and 
would win a large majority in any honest election. They demand a 
full-scale independent investigation of the election, an audit of the 
Martelly government, and an end to interference in Haitian affairs by 
the so-called Core Group of nations. Narcisse, the Fanmi Lavalas 
candidate, has also initiated a legal challenge both within Haiti and at 
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The United States is using its influence in the IMF and the World Bank 
to coerce Haiti into accepting the fraudulent “run-off” by withholding 
aid unless Haiti agrees to hold the election. U.S. State Department 
Special Coordinator for Haiti Kenneth Merten has issued threats, and on 
April 15 three reactionary Republican US Senators, including Marco 
Rubio, wrote a bullying letter to Secretary of State John Kerry 
demanding that the “run-off” election take place as scheduled on April 
24 (in 9 days!) and calling for repressive actions against those in the 
streets demanding fair elections.

The UN MINUSTAH army continues to occupy Haiti, enabling the ongoing 
plunder of Haiti’s land, resources, and labor to benefit international 
investors and Haitian elites, while the cheated voters in the streets 
demand real democracy and an economy that benefits the majority. They 
believe that behind the lofty rhetoric of the United States call for 
"stability" lies a massive cover-up of economic crimes and electoral 
corruption that have greatly contributed to their impoverishment. To win 
independence and abolish slavery in 1804, Haitians had to defeat the 
armies of Spain, England, and finally Napoleon. /Have times really 
changed that much?/

Sent by Haiti Action Committee

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


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