Earlier in February on procedural grounds, Haiti's Provisional Election Council (CEP) disqualified Fanmi Lavalas (FL) candidates from participating, the party most Haitians support.
Mass outrage and apprehension showed up in Priorities Project (HPP) pre-election polls with only 5% of eligible voters stating an intention to participate.
HPP's Jacob Francois told Inter Press Service (IPS):
"We organized our census primarily through town hall meetings, where organizers spoke to people in groups and individually. From this we tallied the opinions of what we estimated to be 65,000 from an eight million population." From this sampling, a 5% participation rate was calculated.
Francois added: "They just do not learn. They can't exclude a major party," and do it on a first time ever procedural technicality, "that's total exclusion. It will undermine the entire process. In addition, the CEP has no business (interfering with) the internal affairs of Lavalas," or taking orders from Washington to do it.
Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, said in a press release:
"I cannot help but express my concern about the possibility that an important group of Haitian citizens might feel that they are not being represented in this process."
In a pre-election radio interview, one Haitian activist said:
"In the matter of elections, basically what you have is a decision to explode Fanmi Lavalas (FL)....with the complicity of President Rene Preval (and the international community)....because everyone knows FL is the majority party in the country."
Meanwhile, the Haiti Information Project (HIP) reported at 3:00PM on April 19 that "today's senatorial elections (are) a total failure." Port-au-Prince polling stations "had more election workers and police than actual voters." Normally busy city streets were "virtually deserted. A rough exit sampling from journalists (on the ground) shows that voter turnout may be as low as 3%."
Astonishing. Imagine holding a national election and virtually no one shows up. Because of clear electoral rigging, FL leaders urged Haitians to support a national boycott. In overwhelming numbers, they complied by staying home and not voting. Whoever wins, it will be impossible to call the results legitimate.
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