[News] Biased international observers failed Haiti in 2015, neutrality and independence essential for upcoming October elections

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 19 13:14:54 EDT 2016


http://www.ijdh.org/2016/09/topics/politics-democracy/new-report-biased-international-observers-failed-haiti-in-2015-neutrality-and-independence-essential-for-upcoming-october-elections-engfr/ 



  New Report: Biased international observers failed Haiti in 2015,
  neutrality and independence essential for upcoming October elections

Contact:             Nicole Phillips, Esq., National Lawyers Guild Haiti 
Committee, Nicole at ijdh.org <mailto:Nicole at ijdh.org>, +001 510 715 2855 
(in U.S., speaks English and French)

*New Report: Biased international observers failed Haiti in 2015, 
**neutrality and independence essential for upcoming October elections*

(NEW YORK, September 19, 2016) – As Haiti prepares for presidential and 
legislative elections on October 9, 2016, a new report 
<http://www.ijdh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Democracy-Discouraged-NLG-Report-091916.pdf> 
by voting rights advocates charges that international observation 
efforts in previous rounds were a “monumental failure.” Despite clear 
evidence of fraud, violence and other irregularities during the August 9 
and October 25, 2015 elections, international observers hailed the two 
rounds of voting as a successful exercise of democracy, the report 
shows. “The failure to uphold international standards for free and fair 
elections raises serious questions about the objectivity and 
independence of international observers,” said Nicole Phillips, a member 
of the National Lawyers Guild and one of the report’s authors.

The report, entitled /Democracy Discouraged: International Observers and 
Haiti’s 2015 Elections/, documents how the Organization of American 
States (OAS) and European Union (EU) electoral observation missions 
ignored reports of electoral problems from Haitian observers, 
journalists, two governmental commissions and, at times, even their own 
observers. “How is it possible that the OAS and EU observers did not see 
what everyone else did?” said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney at the 
/Bureau des Avocats Internationaux/, based in Port-au-Prince, and a 
member of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers’ governing 
Bureau. “Their unjustifiable endorsement of the 2015 elections has badly 
damaged international observers’ credibility in Haiti.”

Despite mounting evidence of fraud, OAS and EU observers persistently 
opposed calls from a broad spectrum of civil society within Haiti for an 
independent verification, and defended the election results. The 
international observers’ position closely mirrored that of the United 
States and other large donor nations, which used the flawed assessments 
of the OAS and EU to justify their opposition to verification, the 
report shows.

The apparent influence wielded by powerful states over electoral 
assessments raises doubts about the neutrality and independence of 
international observers, the report states. In May 2016, an independent 
commission confirmed that “massive fraud” had badly distorted the 
October 25 election’s outcome and ordered the presidential race rerun. 
In response, the U.S. government cut off election funding and EU 
observers withdrew in protest. The OAS mission has announced it will 
stay to observe the next round.

The report recommends that international observation missions report 
objectively and honestly on the electoral process, refrain from 
political interference, and incorporate the views of Haitian civil 
society observers into their evaluations of the upcoming October 9 vote. 
Shodona Kettle, Chair of the Haiti Support Group, states: “Our civil 
society partners are deeply concerned by the reluctance of international 
organisations to address serious allegations of fraud and irregularities 
during the elections. Rather than sweep this issue under the carpet, we 
urge the EU and OAS to acknowledge and respond to the contributions of 
local observers in the monitoring of elections in their country.”

The National Lawyers Guild and International Association of Democratic 
Lawyers’ November 2015 report 
<https://www.nlg.org/news/releases/nlg-and-iadl-election-observers-establish-flaws-haitis-october-25-vote-call> 
calling for an independent investigation to address widespread 
allegations of fraud is available at 
https://www.nlg.org/news/releases/nlg-and-iadl-election-observers-establish-flaws-haitis-october-25-vote-call.
_________________________________________________________
_*HAITI RISES! SEPT 30 INTERNATIONAL DAYS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE 
OF HAITI*_

*Friday, Sept 30 - 4:30PM Demonstration, music, drums*: 14th & Broadway, 
Oakland

*Sunday, Oct 2 - 3PM Inside Haiti's Election:* Eastside Arts, 2277 
International Blvd, Oakland

The irresistible momentum of Haiti's non-stop mass movement, /Lavalas/, 
with tens of thousands in the streets almost daily for months has forced 
the annulment of the fraudulent 2015 elections. The new election date is 
October 9, 2016. But the United States and its allies are still scheming 
to block Haiti's most popular political party, /Fanmi Lavalas/, and 
thwart the popular will.

The time for International solidarity is now! These next two weeks are 
crucial as President Aristide and presidential candidate Dr. Maryse 
Narcisse are making their way throughout the country in a historic 
campaign tour named the Caravan of Dignity. It has been 16 years since 
/Fanmi Lavalas /has participated in an election, finally able to break 
through their forced exclusion from the democratic process. The unending 
resistance of the people of Haiti and your solidarity have made this 
possible.

This election is a fight to restore a popular government that once again 
elevates the democratic agenda of the Haitian people and their struggle 
for dignity and human rights. HAITI RISES! A TIME FOR SOLIDARITY! The 
grassroots on the march in Haiti and your solidarity will result in a 
huge historical victory, Dr. Maryse Narcisse as the first woman elected 
President of Haiti. It has been a long road.

Very exciting news from Haiti is reported on 
https://www.facebook.com/Haiti-Action-Committee-262983839885/ 
<https://www.facebook.com/Haiti-Action-Committee-262983839885/>

Actor/activist Danny Glover wrote today in the Huffington Post: "Haiti’s 
democracy must be in the hands of Haitians. Haiti’s leaders need to 
inspire its people, to send a message that through political inclusion, 
active citizen participation and progressive policies, Haiti can indeed 
enact bold change in favor of the needy majority of its citizens. Many 
powerful interests are working to prevent this from taking place, but 
that’s why those fighting for a real democracy need our support so that 
their commitment to progressive change can be put to the test."

*Show your support during the Haiti International Solidarity Day events, 
the demonstration on 9/30 and the important discussion and updates on 
10/2/16. *

sent by Haiti Action  Committee Follow us on FACEBOOK, @HaitiAction1 and 
www.haitisolidarity.net <http://www.haitisolidarity.net>



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