- On November 28, first round legislative and presidential
elections will be held. As a previous article explained, democracy will
be absent because the nation's most popular party, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas,
and 14 others are excluded, the system rigged to install Washington's favorites.
- In a September 8, Miami Herald op-ed, Ira Kurzban, an
immigration and employment law expert as well as
- Aristide's former legal counsel headlined, "Unfair
and undemocratic," saying:
- "Imagine if (America's) Federal Election Commission
disqualified the Democratic and Republican parties from the 2012 presidential
election and declared that only candidates of minor parties could run."
- "Yet (Haiti's November 28 elections) are just that
- unfair, unconstitutional and undemocratic."
- On November 10, Brian Concannon, Director of the Institute
for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, in the Boston Haitian Reporter headlined,
"Haiti's Flawed Elections: They Told Us So," saying:
- The November elections "may be the most important
in Haitian history," voters to "choose the entire House of Deputies
(its lower body) for four years, a President for five years, and one-third
of the Senate for six years. These officials (will be responsible for)
guiding Haiti's (post-quake) reconstruction for at least four years."
What they accomplish "will shape Haitian society for decades."
What they won't is deeply worrisome.
- Especially since the process is deeply flawed under new
eligibility rules, President Preval's hand-picked Provisional Electoral
Council (CEP) requiring each party head register presidential candidates
in person. Exiled in South Africa, Aristide can't do it, denied permission
to renew his passport to return that prevents him. Moreover, the CEP lacks
legitimacy, Haiti's Constitution mandating an independent Permanent Council,
free from party politics.
- As a result, Kurzban calls the process a "faux election
that will have lasting consequences for Haiti and the international community."
Haitians know a charade is planned. Many will opt out, their choice in
April 2009 to fill 12 open Senate seats that saw an estimated 3 - 5% turnout.
Why bother now under dire conditions, Haiti stricken by earthquake destruction,
little aid, and a deepening cholera epidemic taking dozens or more lives
- Concannon said Haiti's CEP never gave comprehensive reasons
for excluding parties. For Fanmi Lavalas (FN), it mentioned only informal
ones, "regarding a mandate sent by (Aristide) last November. In fact,
(FN) presented an original mandate, authenticated by a Haitian notary that
complies with Haitian law." Aristide followed up with a fax, "confirm(ing)
its authenticity in a radio interview."
- The International Crisis Group: Supporting Power, not
- Founded in 1995 by World Bank vice-president Mark Malloch
Brown and former US diplomat Morton Abramowitz, it issued an October 27
report on Haiti's elections titled, "Haiti: The Stakes of the Post-Quake
Elections," endorsing the flawed process, noting only that it's proceeding
under daunting conditions.
- "To boost confidence in the process," it said,
a great deal must be done in a very short time. The CEP's actions need
to be more open and those actions to be explained better to the parties
and the electorate. The parties (not mentioning those excluded) should
commit to a peaceful campaign and to acceptance of the eventual results,
and they and their candidates should begin to articulate substantive platforms
that address national problems."
- "To stimulate turnout, voter and civic education
about the process and the stakes should be intensified, particularly among
IDPs....Once the elections are over and parallel to the new government's
priority task of pushing reconstruction and sustainable development, a
national consensus will be needed on electoral and political party reforms....But
the urgent requirement is to succeed with the November elections."
- The ICG doesn't hide its agenda, providing detailed recommendations
about proceeding with a sham process. Crucial is "meet(ing a) tight
electoral timetable," defrauding the electorate, urging "all
political actors (support) the new government" so it can rebuild "the
country's economic, physical and institutional infrastructure," one
planned for profit, not poor Haitians to be exploited for maximum amounts.
- The New York Times - Endorsing Fraud
- On November 21, writers Randal Archibold and Damien Cave
headlined, "Mired in Crises, Haiti Struggles to Focus on Election,"
- "It may not be the best time to choose a president....But
the (November 28) election....may be Haiti's most important in decades....a
colorful field of 19 candidates is seeking the highest office...."
- Instead of denouncing a sham process, the article focused
on campaign politics, "ginning up excitement, plastering brightly
colored posters across the devastated capital, blasting catchy Caribbean-beat
jingles from trucks and staging large rallies with T-shirt - and sometimes,
money - giveaways."
- Noting a potential low turnout could raise claims about
legitimacy, it explained that "international observers will monitor
the balloting." America's funding it with $15 million or more, assuring
the best "democracy" its money can buy, by no means a real one.
- Focusing on competing presidential candidates, Archibold
and Cave said nothing about excluded parties, notably Fanmi Lavalas that
would win by a landslide if participating. The only hint of sham was a
final comment saying, "It remains to be seen how much the voters are
buying. Haitians, analysts said, tend to make their choices at the last
minute," omitting that none of the above will swamp other choices,
given FL's exclusion.
- It's the third time in the past year, including the April
and June 2009 senatorial elections, and originally scheduled February 2010
presidential and legislative ones. Recently, Aristide's spokeswoman, Maryse
Narcisse, told the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS):
- "For us, this isn't just the exclusion of Fanmi
Lavalas. What they want to exclude is the majority, the people. For us
this is a selection, not an election."
- Washington, of course, controls it, US Assistant Secretary
of State Philip Crowley saying at a September 15 press briefing:
- "....we are working diligently with Haitian authorities
to help them prepare. It is vitally important to Haiti's future that there
be a credible election. We are mindful of the fact that with the earthquake
back in January, among the institutions of government that were hard hit
were those that would either conduct or support a successful election."
- "This is a Haitian process. There are qualifications
that have to be met....this has to be seen as a legitimate and credible
process, and we're doing everything that we can to help Haiti have a successful
- Asked about excluded political parties, Crowley laughed,
saying only, "Why don't you ask us again tomorrow and we'll see if
we have more to say about this."
- A follow-up question wasn't asked, America's media ducking
the issue to avoid embarrassing the secretary about a clearly sham process,
Washington very much in control.
- The Center for Economic and Policy Research's (CEPR)
- Dan Beeton was less reserved, issuing an October 14 press
release headlined, "CEPR Criticizes US Funding of Flawed 'Elections'
in Haiti," saying:
- Washington should explain its funding of a clearly flawed
process, involving "the arbitrary exclusion of over a dozen political
parties - including the country's largest party - from the ballot, Mark
Weisbrot (CEPR's Co-Director) said today."
- Last week, the State Department ducked the issue for
the second time. "The exclusions problem has dragged on for months,
becoming a growing scandal."
- As Weisbrot explained:
- "Justice delayed is justice denied. The US has known
about this problem for months, and it has been reported numerous times
in the international press, not to mention that it is a major bone of contention
- Nonetheless, the Obama administration's failure to explain
why it's funding "such a blatantly anti-democratic process is inexcusable."
- In early October, 45 members of Congress raised the issue,
saying Washington should opt out of an election not "includ(ing) all
eligible political parties and ready access to voting for all Haitians,
including the displaced."
- The Preval government won't touch the issue. Neither
will the State Department, stonewalling whenever asked, determined to install
its favorites, stooges to solidify coup d'etat control. This time through
ballot box shenanigans, an "election" in name only, flawed enough
to make a despot blush.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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