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        <h1 id="reader-title">New Report: Biased international observers
          failed Haiti in 2015, neutrality and independence essential
          for upcoming October elections<br>
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              <p>Contact:             Nicole Phillips, Esq., National
                Lawyers Guild Haiti Committee, <a
                  href="mailto:Nicole@ijdh.org">Nicole@ijdh.org</a>,
                +001 510 715 2855 (in U.S., speaks English and French)</p>
              <p><strong>New Report: Biased international observers
                  failed Haiti in 2015, </strong><strong>neutrality and
                  independence essential for upcoming October elections</strong></p>
              <p>(NEW YORK, September 19, 2016) – As Haiti prepares for
                presidential and legislative elections on October 9,
                2016, a new <a
href="http://www.ijdh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Democracy-Discouraged-NLG-Report-091916.pdf">report</a>
                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.</p>
              <p>The report, entitled <em>Democracy Discouraged:
                  International Observers and Haiti’s 2015 Elections</em>,
                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 <em>Bureau des Avocats Internationaux</em>,
                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.”</p>
              <p>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.</p>
              <p>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.</p>
              <p>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.”</p>
              <p>The National Lawyers Guild and International
                Association of Democratic Lawyers’ November 2015 <a
href="https://www.nlg.org/news/releases/nlg-and-iadl-election-observers-establish-flaws-haitis-october-25-vote-call">report</a>
                calling for an independent investigation to address
                widespread allegations of fraud is available at
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="https://www.nlg.org/news/releases/nlg-and-iadl-election-observers-establish-flaws-haitis-october-25-vote-call">https://www.nlg.org/news/releases/nlg-and-iadl-election-observers-establish-flaws-haitis-october-25-vote-call</a>.<br>
_________________________________________________________<br>
                <u><font size="4"><b>HAITI RISES! SEPT 30 INTERNATIONAL
                      DAYS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF HAITI</b></font></u><br>
                <br>
              </p>
              <p><b>Friday, Sept 30 - 4:30PM Demonstration, music, drums</b>:
                14th & Broadway, Oakland</p>
              <p><b>Sunday, Oct 2 - 3PM Inside Haiti's Election:</b>
                Eastside Arts, 2277 International Blvd, Oakland</p>
              <p>The irresistible momentum of Haiti's non-stop mass
                movement, <i>Lavalas</i>, 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, <i>Fanmi Lavalas</i>, and thwart the
                popular will.</p>
              <p>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 <i>Fanmi Lavalas </i>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.</p>
              <p><span>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!</span> 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.<span></span></p>
              <p>Very exciting news from Haiti is reported on <a
                  href="https://www.facebook.com/Haiti-Action-Committee-262983839885/"
                  target="_blank">https://www.facebook.com/Ha<wbr>iti-Action-Committee-262983839<wbr>885/</a>
                <br>
              </p>
              <p><span></span></p>
              <p><span>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."<br>
                </span></p>
              <p><b>Show your support during the Haiti International
                  Solidarity Day events, the demonstration on 9/30 and
                  the important discussion and updates on <span><span>10/2/16</span></span>.
                </b><br>
              </p>
              <p>sent by Haiti Action  Committee Follow us on FACEBOOK,
                @HaitiAction1 and <a
                  href="http://www.haitisolidarity.net" target="_blank">www.haitisolidarity.net</a></p>
              <p><br>
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