Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Election Update: A Verification Show

Two weeks after the preliminary results were announced, the streets of Port-au-Prince are calm, but the situation is just as confusing and worrying. The international community urged candidates to go through the proper legal channels to dispute the results, but only Jude Celestin and Charles Henri Baker filed complaints, the former claiming he won 52% of the vote. Michel Martelly proposed a second round with all 17 candidates, again reafirming that he does not respect the Provisional Electoral Council. Mirlande Manigat will not accept anything other than a second round with two candidates, making sure to note that if the candidate second in line drops out (Celestin), the third one (Martelly) takes his place in the second round.

Reports of fraud have been increasing, as people are becoming increasingly sure  that the entire election was a sham.  The Haiti Democracy Project shows, for example, how the results were altered in favor of a ruling party candidate in Ouanaminthe. The website presents images of carbon copies of the official returns of the polling place, alongside results posted by the CEP and you can see how 11 becomes 111, 30 becomes 130... Unless HDP had done their research and posted this online, these fraudulent reports would not have been given any attention. 

But despite its complete lack of credibility with a majority of Haitians, the Electoral Council is now in the process of verifying the results, with technical assistance from an OAS mission that Preval called for. Can we really expect the CEP and the OAS, two groups involved in these less-than-perfect elections from the very beginning, to do an effective recount of an election marred by fraud at at every single level? Of course not. But the show must go on. Which is exactly what this verification business is: a show going on while representatives of the international community try to convince Preval to have Celestin remove himself from the race, while the CEP tries to figure a way out of the mess that they've helped create, and while political leaders continue to look for ways to turn the situation into a win for them (are they aware that they've all already lost?).  

1 comment:

  1. the majority of Haitians has been for the most part taken advantage of by most of its leaders, and almost all of the BIG POLITICAL and ECONOMICAL PLAYERS ( International Community ), since 1804.they are still paying for defeating Napoleon's army,becoming the first black independent nation of the world. only Divine intervention could force the U.N occupation to end soon, and the choice of the majority (very intelligent) to be respected.