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Massive Fraud in Haiti's Sham Elections
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Short of international community condemnation and rejection, Haiti will again be left with a government seen as illegitimate.
On November 28, Haiti held first round legislative and presidential elections, a previous article explaining that democracy was off the ballot.
The entire process was rigged, 15 parties excluded, including by far the most popular, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas. Under the most dire conditions, it was a cruel joke, not even equivalent to what Edward Herman called "demonstration elections" in his 1980 book by that title, sham ones assuring installation of US-friendly candidates, elections in name only.
On November 28, it was worse, so bad, in fact, that world headlines explained it. For example, New York Times writers Damien Cave and Randol Archibold headlined, "Haitian Candidates Call to Void Election," saying:
They lied. Washington orchestrated the entire process to assure its choices take over, its usual imperial heavy-handedness, this time including ballot box stuffing and other irregularities. Nonetheless, initial results will be known on December 5, officially announced on December 20.
Haiti's US Embassy spokesman said only that it was monitoring the situation. Organization of American States (OAS) observers cancelled a news conference, saying it was gathering information for "our assessment of polling day activities." A UN statement expressed "deep concerns over the numerous incidents that marred the election." Neither Preval or a spokesperson said anything as expected.
On November 30, Al Jazeera said:
The mission's head, Colin Granderson, said:
Nicole Phillips, observer from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, said at every polling station she visited there were flaws. "Streams of people, dozens and dozens of people were unable to vote because they couldn't find their name on an electoral list."
In Acul du Nord and Trou du Nord, two northern towns near Cap-Haitien, voting was cancelled after people fired gunshots in the air and trashed one voting station. A Port-au-Prince one was also ransacked.
Financial Times writer Benedict Mander headlined, "Haiti poll denounced as 'massive fraud,' " saying:
A crowd awaiting them burst into Haiti's national anthem when they arrived and chanted "Arrest Preval!"
A later Reuters report said two more presidential candidates joined the others, leaving Preval's choice, Jude Celestin, "virtually alone among the contenders in upholding the legitimacy of the polls."
According to Markus Shultze-Kraft of Britain's Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex:
Besides a sham process most Haitians boycotted, polling stations opened late. Voter names were missing on electoral rolls, and angry accusations cited ballot box stuffing. According to Alex Main, an unofficial observer from the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR):
Main said the problem was widespread, not limited to a few isolated cases. Official observers were from the OAS, Caribbean Community, the association of francophone states, and the EU, not there to assure a free, fair and open process or serve Haitian voters' interests, their final statements to be taken with great caution.
That's now confirmed, according to a November 30 Al Jazeera report saying:
The mission's Colin Granderson said:
Main, however, added that it's:
On November 29, a CEPR press release headlined, "International Community Should Reject Haiti's 'Sham' Elections," its Co-Director, Mark Weisbrot, saying:
Weisbrot recommended Preval's hand-picked Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) be replaced and that new elections be held. That prospect is exceedingly dim to say the least, leaving Haitians again stuck with imperial Washington calling the shots, having no concern whatever for democracy or their interests at a time millions have dire needs.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 30, 2010.