By: Henry Boisrolin* / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / October 27, 2015-. When analyzing what happened in Haiti on the days of August 9 and October 25, it is impossible to simply qualify them as “election days”. This is so because Haitians are by no means able to elect a candidate but merely, as many of them say, to select one.
Taking this into account, we can now go into detail about the characteristics of this selection.
Above all, it is necessary to clarify that it is a decisive part of a very perverse scheme designed to keep the country under foreign domination with the most reactionary sector of the oligarchy running the country as they have done since May, 2011. This strategy consists of two parts. On August 9th, during the so-called first round of legislative elections, Haitian society experimented a day in which the parties in power mostly committed different types of violent acts and fraudulent maneuvers in order to place their candidates in the first positions that enabled them to pass to the second round.
In order to achieve this, they relied on the complicity of the Haitian National Police (HNP), the so-called ‘international community’ and the Provisional Electoral Council (PEC). So they burned many voting centers and ballot boxes to the ground, illegally filled several more, used their weapons to intimidate voters, falsified records, and caused more than 10 dead and wounded.
However, despite the protests and denounces with plenty of irrefutable proof —provided by various political parties, different Human Rights organisms and Haitian election monitoring groups— the PEC, the national government and the international community considered that that, despite there had been violent acts —which they blamed on the Haitian people—, the elections were acceptable. In this context, a Civil Resistance movement comprised by different political and social organizations and personalities that demanded the nullification of the ‘elections’, the resignation of the PEC, of President Martelly and the conformation of a transition government.
But on October 25th, in response to mobilizations, denounces and court filings, those responsible for the violent acts opted for another kind of mobster acts. The HNP deployed an impressive ‘security’ operation, with policemen present at every voting center, patrols in adjacent streets, surveillance cameras and even drones. In such way, with the exception of a few acts of violence similar to those of August 9, the accomplices were able to say that the day had been almost perfect.
But after the closing of the polls, at 16 hs, irregularities started to become obvious: groups were seen taking away ballot boxes and switching them, among other things. And, during the scrutiny in various voting centers in which they were not able to perpetrate these acts, the representatives of the officialist party did not let representatives of other parties be present at the moment of the vote count. Moreover, the following day several envelopes which contained ballots of opposition parties, were discovered, but were not delivered to the Vote Tabulation Center. This is a center where there is no real possibility of exercising democratic control.
Less than 48 hours after the farce of October 25th, several candidates for the Presidency and other seats, conscious of these maneuvers, called to press conferences to denounce these actions and demand respect for popular will. But, once more, the international community, the PEC and the national government continued to celebrate that the October 25th polls had been better than the ones of August 9th, and therefore considered that democracy is progressing in Haiti.
In this context, it is no surprise that many candidates and parties have already stated that they will not accept the results that the power is fabricating. Most of all when it is not a secret to anybody that the PEC intends to place Jovenel Moïse —candidate for the Haitian Tèt Kale Party (PHTK) of Martelly— in the first or second place of the results in order to call for a ballotage next December 27. On the other hand, the Fanmi Lavalas party of former president Aristide has already proclaimed that their candidate, Maryse Narcisse, had won in the
first round. The same is proclaimed by the people of former Senator Moïse Jean-Charles and the people of Jude Célestin, the man that Préval intended to favour during the 2010-2011 elections. And, despite in 2010-2011 the international community moved Célestin aside and put Martelly in his place, this time he may have a different luck.
In the face of this situation, many already consider that the country is going through a post-electoral crisis of unforeseeable magnitude, and that will add to the already existing economic, political and social crisis, which is deepened day after day by the troops of the United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (MIssion des Nations Unies pour la STAbilisation en Haïti, MINUSTAH), even though the Haitian people are protesting against since day one.
* Henry Boisrolin is a member of the Haitian Democratic Committee and a columnist of ResumenLatinoamericano.org