Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Syndicate content
Updated: 2 hours 26 min ago

Fraud, Protests and Intervention in Haiti’s Elections

November 12, 2015 - 09:07

Protests continue all over Haiti, denouncing the fraud-marred presidential elections of October 25 and demanding that the current frontrunner, Jovenel Moise withdraw from the race. Moise, who ran for President Martelly’s party won the first round with support from only 8.7% of all registered voters, and many of his votes were likely gained through fraud. Protesters are also demanding an independent commission be created to deal with the problems of these elections; one that won’t be influenced by the international community like the Provisional Electoral Council was in 2010.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

After Haiti’s First-Round Elections, the Legacy of Intervention Looms Large

Five years after the international community helped overturn Haiti’s election results, observers are tacitly supporting an increasingly anti-democratic process.

Jake Johnston, NACLA

November 12, 2015

Five years ago, Haiti’s current president, Michel Martelly, was leading street protests, alleging massive fraud on the part of the government after preliminary election results left him out of a second round. Those results, announced in early December 2010, showed Mirlande Manigat, a university professor, and Jude Célestin, the candidate backed by then president René Préval, advancing to a runoff. In third place, by just a few thousands votes, was Martelly.

Protests engulfed Haiti’s capital and other large cities throughout the country. The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince fanned the flames by issuing a statement questioning the announced results. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the U.S. later provided support to groups involved in the protests. Eventually a special mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) traveled to Haiti and recommended changing the results. It wasn’t until after the U.S. revoked the visas of leading officials and threatened to cut off aid that Célestin withdrew from the race. As a result, Martelly advanced to the second round, and eventually won the presidency.

Preliminary results of Haiti’s October 25 first-round presidential election were released last week, showing Jovenel Moïse of Martelly’s ruling PHTK party in first place with 32.8 percent of the vote and Célestin, the man Martelly replaced in 2010, with 25.3 percent. The two are set to compete in a runoff election on December 27. In third and fourth place, respectively, were Moïse Jean Charles, a former opposition senator, with 14.3 percent, and Dr. Maryse Narcisse of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party, with 7.1 percent. In a crowded field of 54 candidates, no one else secured more than four percent of the vote.


Click HERE for the full text.

Un député du PHTK admet à la fraude commise par son parti

November 11, 2015 - 13:05

Depuis les élections du 9 août, des Haitiens et leurs organisations civique ont denoncé des fraudes commise pour la plupart, par le PHTK du président Michel Martelly. Les représantants du PHTK ont toujours nié ces allégations. Maintenant, un député élu du PHTK a accepté les allégations, et les a dénoncé.

Partie de l’article est ci-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Un député élu du PHTK dénonce des opérations de fraudes au profit de son parti

Danio Darius, Le Nouvelliste

11 novembre 2015

Alors que des voix ne cessent de s’élever pour dénoncer des cas de fraudes qui ont été enregistrés au profit du candidat à la présidence du pouvoir Jovenel Moïse le 25 octobre dernier, un député élu dès le premier tour sous la bannière du Parti haïtien Tèt Kale vient verser de l’huile sur le feu. Intervenant sur les ondes de Radio Magik 9 mercredi, Antoine Rodon Bien­-Aimé accuse un certain Sylvain Coté, un cadre de l’UNOPS qui aurait manipulé les bulletins et les procès verbaux au profit du pouvoir en place.

«Les autres partis politiques ont déjà confirmé ces irrégularités et ces cas de fraudes et moi je les reconfirme et s’il faut le faire une centaine de fois, je le referai», a répondu Antoine Rodon Bien-­Aimé à la question s’il est en train de confirmer les dénonciations de fraudes visant le candidat du PHTK Jovenel Moïse par la plupart de ses concurrents.

Engagé par l’UNOPS pour assurer la coordination du transport des procès­verbaux et des bulletins, Sylvain Coté a eu en réalité la responsabilité de remplacer en cours de route les procès­verbaux et les bulletins par d’autres qui ont été préalablement remplis hors des centres de vote, a affirmé Antoine Rodon Bien­Aimé. Il accuse le pouvoir d’avoir eu en sa possession une quantité de ces matériels sensibles qu’il a utilisés lors de cette opération de fraudes.


Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Miami Haitian Activists To Protest US Support For Mass Repression and Election Fraud by Haitian Government

November 11, 2015 - 13:00
What: The grassroots Haitian community organization Veye Yo will hold a picket line protest  in front of the US Federal Building at 51 SW 1st Avenue in Downtown MiamiWhen:Wednesday, November 11 5PMWhere: Federal Building 51 SW 1st AveFor more information, contact:Tony Jeanthenorat 786-587-5384

Haitians protest the Presidential Election results

November 10, 2015 - 11:54

Since last Thursday after the election results were released, Haitians have been protesting what they say involved fraud. The protests have caused all school doors to be closed. During the lead-up to the protests, ex-president Jean Bertrand Aristide made clear his support for Dr. Maryse Narcisse, who was beaten by Jude Celestin in the preliminary results. IJDH Director Brian Concannon discusses these developments and more in this interview.

Part of the post is below. Click HERE for the full text and audio.

Haiti’s Elections Remain Fraught With ProblemsBrian Concannon Jr., UprisingNovember 10, 2015

Haitians are out en masse protesting their nation’s election results, contending fraud. Thousands gathered on the streets of Port Au Prince for a general strike on Monday. A first round of Presidential elections was held on October 25th, with current President Michel Martelly’s favored candidate Jovenel Moise coming ahead with enough votes to make it to a run-off.


Click HERE for the full text and audio.

Habitat for Humanity Hiring Advocacy Manager

November 9, 2015 - 11:04

This position will be based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The job description is below. Click HERE for the full posting.

Advocacy Manager / Haiti Property Law Working Group Coordinator


  • Leadership and ongoing strategy and organization of the Haiti Property Law Working Group (HPLWG) and Advocacy efforts related to Habitat for Humanity’s mission and mandate
  • Reporting to the National Director and Chief Operating Officer

Role Description

Haiti Property Law Working Group

  • Lead, manage and represent the HPLWG in meetings / events / trainings / forums / media / community outreach activities
  • Establish an agenda and prepare all materials for future HPLWG meetings (approx.. every two or three months);
  • Organize steering committee meetings (monthly / bi-monthly or as needed);
  • Disseminate manuals (1/2) and HPLWG materials to stakeholders;
  • Follow up, revise, supervise drafts of the English and Creole version of Manual II, with the support of HPLWG members and the steering committee; including related training materials
  • Work with a graphic designer to ensure that all materials of the HPLWG are consistent and abide by donor guidelines / marking rules;
  • Work on developing and maintaining an advocacy website for the HPLWG;
  • Coordinate and developing training materials and activities;
  • Establish a schedule and implementation plan for Phase 2 of the trainings;
  • Work closely with media/communications outlets to ensure visibility for HPLWG advocacy activities, trainings and materials.

Project Management

  • Plan, update, execute the work plan for the USAID (and other) grants;
  • Complete all donor and organizational reporting requirements in a timely and high quality manner
  • Ensure all activities conducted are in alignment with donor and Habitat’s grant compliance policies, procedures, rules and regulations
  • Manage the monitoring and evaluation of all advocacy efforts and projects according to the performance management framework
  • Ensure all output and outcome indicators are uploaded into the USAID DevResults system and Habitat’s Global Metrics Tool
  • Identify areas of integration and collaboration with Habitat’s and partner organizations program initiatives

Strategy Development

  • Work with the HPLWG steering committee and members to develop a strategy for the group which leverages the past experience and vision for the future
  • Identify and develop a strategy for future advocacy interventions which link to Habitat’s global advocacy campaigns / objectives; and build upon recommendations related to the work of the HPLWG
  • Develop and implement a fundraising strategy which links to a project sustainability plan
  • Collaborate with Habitat’s global advocacy community of practice to share best practices from Haiti and participate in global learning initiatives / publications / public outreach


  • BA or equivalent in law, public policy, urban planning or other relevant field. MA preferred
  • At least 5 years project management / lead experience; including grant compliance, budget management and donor reporting
  • Confident public speaker with excellent communications skills; and preferably experience in bringing together diverse stakeholder through strong facilitation and adult learning experience
  • Fluent written and oral communication in English, French and Creole. Spanish is an advantage.
  • Experience developing project concept notes / budgets / marketing material for the use of fundraising and developing partner relationships
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, multi-tasking ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Willingness to travel locally within Haiti
  • Please note that this position is a full time position



Click HERE for the full posting.

Malgré les plaintes, seuls deux candidats auraient contesté les resultats.

November 9, 2015 - 08:01

Malgré des nombreuses plaintes de fraude électorale, seuls deux candidats auraient contesté les resultats.  Voici une analyse des chiffres des principaux candidats  ainsi que les raisons évoquées des contestataires.

Consultez une partie de l’article ci-dessous:

Seuls deux candidats à la présidence ont produit des contestations

Robenson Geffard, Le Nouvelliste 

9, Novembre 2015


Ni Jude Célestin, ni Moïse Jean­Charles, ni Jovenel Moïse… n’ont produit de contestations au Bureau du contentieux électoral départemental (BCED). A la fermeture de la période de contestation, dimanche, seulement deux candidats à la présidence ont formellement produit des contestations. Il s’agit de Vilaire Cluny Duroseau de l’organisation politique MEKSEP et de Maryse Narcisse de Fanmi Lavalas.

Ils étaient nombreux, les candidats à la présidence à dénoncer les résultats des élections du 25 octobre dans les médias. Cependant, quand il fallait les contester formellement, ces prétendants à la magistrature suprême étaient aux abonnés absents au BCED.  Selon le président du BED de l’Ouest 1, les seuls deux cas de contestation enregistrés, produits par Vilaire Cluny Duroseau et Maryse Narcisse, seront entendus ce mardi.

Wally Désance a fait savoir que Vilaire Cluny Duroseau, qui a obtenu 1 208 votes, soit 0.08% des voix, soutient avoir en sa possession des procès­verbaux qui lui donnent plus de votes. Comme le veut le décret électoral, ce candidat à la présidence a payé 50 000 gourdes à la DGI pour formuler la requête. Quant à Maryse Narcisse, a ajouté M. Désance, elle a dénoncé des fraudes massives en faveur du candidat Jovenel Moïse. Elle dit également avoir obtenu plus que les 110 049 votes que lui ont attribués les résultats publiés par le CEP.

Pourquoi ni Jude Célestin, ni Moïse Jean­Charles, ni Jovenel Moïse n’ont produit des contestations ?


Cliquez ICI pour voir l’article complet.


Challenges of primary election results and reactions across Haiti

November 9, 2015 - 07:58

Candidates such as Dr. Maryse Narcisse of Famni Lavalas challenge the results of the electoral vote.  This has also led to civil unrest throughout the country in the form of isolated tire burnings, rock-throwing and blockage of traffic by supporters in the central plateau and northern regions of Haiti.

Part of the article is posted below:

Haiti to hear challenges in presidential elections results

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald 

November 9, 2015


Two presidential candidates who object to their showings in the Oct. 25 elections have filed legal challenges.

Fourth-place finisher Dr. Maryse Narcisse of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party, and Vilaire Cluny Duroseau, who finished 42nd out of 54 candidates, are alleging they were cheated out of votes. Narcisse’s hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday before the Departmental Bureau of Electoral Contestation (BCED), said lawyer Gervais Charles.

“We are contesting the credibility of the process,” said Charles, who led a similar legal challenge in 2010 on behalf of President Michel Martelly after he contested his third-place finish behind Jude Célestin, then the government-backed candidate, amid allegations of fraud and irregularities. “We are legalistic, and we know who we are going before to plead our case, the same people who are at the base of all the violations.”

“We’re not naive,” he added. “We know the legal route has its limits and the people need to feel their weight, and keep carrying on a political battle.”


Click HERE for the original article.

Reactions to preliminary results of parliamentary vote in Haiti

November 8, 2015 - 09:27

Early reactions to Haiti’s preliminary results in parliament vote lead to more demonstrations. New and old faces share their reactions to the aforementioned results.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article.

Haiti issues preliminary results in parliament vote

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

November 8, 2015  

Antonio Cheramy, known as “Don Kato,” was elected with 297,260 votes in the Oct. 25 legislative runoff elections to represent the country’s most populous region, the West Department that includes metropolitan Port-au-Prince. The vote total, posted on the council’s website after midnight Sunday, is more than what 52 of the 54 presidential candidates received during balloting held on the same day, according to preliminary presidential results issued Thursday.

“The battle I was carrying out reached the population,” said Cheramy, 40. “These results are incontestable and show that the population voted me.”

The parliament announcement came on a day of more protests and arrests of demonstrators who have taken to the streets in the capital and the northern city of Cap-Haitien to protest against the preliminary results of the first round of the Oct. 25 presidential elections. Those results put government-backed candidate Jovenel Moise in a likely runoff with opposition candidate Jude Célestin. Citing the allegations of “massive fraud” by local observer groups, Célestin called the results a “farce” and has asked supporters to remain mobilize despite the government’s attempts to crack down on protests.





Click HERE for the full article.

Preliminary Presidential Election Results Raise Concerns in Haiti and Abroad

November 6, 2015 - 16:29

Last week, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council announced the preliminary results for the first round of presidential elections. They named the candidate backed by president Martelly as the forerunner, followed by the candidate from former president Preval’s party. Many organizations and candidates are disputing the results because of the rampant fraud during election day, October 25. The international community seems concerned that the Martelly candidate will somehow declare himself president without proceeding to the runoff election in December.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti Announces Preliminary Election Results, but Race Far From Settled

Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch

November 6, 2015

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced preliminary results from the October 25 presidential elections yesterday evening, showing the government-backed Jovenel Moïse and former state construction company director Jude Célestin in the top two places, paving the way for a face-off between the two candidates in the second round of the elections scheduled for December 27.

Of the roughly 1.6 million Haitians who voted (roughly 26 percent of registered voters), Moïse received 32.8 percent of the vote while Célestin received 25.3 percent, according to the preliminary results announced by the CEP. Moïse Jean-Charles, an opposition leader, received 14.3 percent to finish in third while Dr. Maryse Narcisse of the Fanmi Lavalas party of twice-ousted Jean Bertrand Aristide came in fourth with just over 7 percent of the vote.

After violence and fraud plagued first-round legislative elections in August, more than 73 percent of registered voters stayed home on election day this time – a similar rate as what was seen in the flawed 2010 presidential elections, but far below turnout in previous presidential elections such as in 2000 and 2006, which was closer to 60 percent.


Click HERE for the full text.

Preliminary Haiti Presidential Election Results Released

November 5, 2015 - 18:07

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council has just announced the top two candidates for president based on preliminary first-round results: Jovenel Moise and Jude Celestin. Jovenel Moise is the candidate backed by Haiti’s current president, whose party has been involved in election violence and fraud since the first round on August 9. Many other candidates are disputing these results because of those issues. Who will really make the runoff election in December remains to be seen.

Haiti council names 2 candidates for presidential runoff

David McFadden, Yahoo! News
November 5, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Government-backed candidate Jovenel Moise and former state construction chief Jude Celestin appear to be advancing to a runoff election for Haiti’s presidency, according to preliminary results announced Thursday.

The much-anticipated results from the 54-candidate first round presidential contest on Oct. 25 were issued by Pierre Louis Opont, the leader of the Provisional Electoral Council. Since no candidate won a majority in that ballot, the two top finishers are set to meet in a Dec. 27 runoff.

Opont did not take any questions from reporters after delivering the preliminary results at the council headquarters, which was under guard by heavily armed police. He said Moise received 511,992 votes or 32.8 percent of the total, and Celestin got 394,390 or 25.2 percent.

Seven of the council’s nine members signed off on the preliminary results, indicating that there was not unanimous agreement with the tally. An appeals period will follow the Thursday announcement and officials say certified results are expected in late November or early December.

Moise, handpicked by outgoing President Michel Martelly to be his successor, greeted applauding partisans gathered at a fancy hotel in Petionville, not far from the electoral council headquarters. Looking into TV cameras, the top vote getter told Haitians they were backing the right man.

“I’m standing in front of you because I am the winner,” said Moise, an agricultural entrepreneur who set up a banana plantation in Haiti’s north and founded a public-private project called Agritrans to successfully export the fruit to Europe.

But several major candidates have alleged fraud by the well-financed Tet Kale campaign behind Moise and voiced concern that the results do not accurately reflect national will.

The candidate who placed third in the official tally with 14.2 percent, former senator Moise Jean-Charles, has asserted in recent days that he won half of Haiti’s 10 departments. Last week, he insisted that partially burned ballots checked with his name were found by his backers in Port-au-Prince and numerous ballots supporting his bid had gone missing elsewhere.

After the preliminary results were announced, Jean-Charles said the results were a sham orchestrated by Martelly, who he insists would be pulling strings in a Moise presidency. He called on his supporters to participate in a “peaceful revolution” to ensure their voice is heard.

But tire barricades were already burning in a few spots of Port-au-Prince and Associated Press journalists saw one dead body on a street in the neighborhood of Delmas 33.

A crowd of Jean-Charles supporters gathered around their dead colleague and insisted he was fatally shot in the neck by officers with a newly created police unit referred to as BOID. Chanting “freedom or death,” the crowd scattered Jean-Charles campaign posters around his corpse.

Firefighters who arrived to douse the flaming barricades were pelted with a few rocks, but managed to put out the flames. One furious partisan screamed at them: “You won’t have enough water to put out all the fires tomorrow!”

In recent days, eight presidential candidates, including Celestin and Jean-Charles, asserted that there were instances of “massive fraud” during Oct. 25 election — perhaps as a way to prepare their partisans for a loss. They warned that if fraud went uncorrected it “would make the alleged results of these elections unacceptable” and asked the council to form an independent commission to review the electoral processes over the next 15 days.

Celestin’s campaign manager did not offer any immediate comment now that his candidate apparently secured a spot in the runoff. At least one presidential candidate in the top 10, Pierre Sauveur Etienne, said he would throw his support behind Celestin, the government-backed candidate in the last election cycle.

The top two finishers announced in preliminary results don’t always make it to a runoff in Haiti. During the last election, disputed preliminary results showed Celestin edging out Martelly for one of two spots in a runoff ballot, but under international pressure Haiti’s electoral authorities reviewed the count and eliminated Celestin from the race.


Click HERE for the original article.

What will the US role be in Haiti’s fraudulent elections?

November 5, 2015 - 12:33

Many blame Haiti’s turbulent history, including the misuse of post-earthquake aid and the coups against former President Aristide, on Haitian corruption but fail to acknowledge the US role in these events. Now, as Haiti gears up for the third round of elections that are already marred by fraud, many wonder what the US role will be this time. Will the US accept any candidate that matches their interests or can activists force the US to stand for fair and democratic elections?

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Weisbrot: U.S. needs strict Haitian pledge before sending any aid.

Mark Weisbrot, My Statesman

November 5, 2015

When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, killing more than 200,000 people, former President Bill Clinton said that the reconstruction would provide an opportunity to “build back better.”

Some $9.6 billion was pledged by the international community, including the U.S. government. But nearly six years later, although about $7.6 billion has been disbursed, there is not much to show for it.

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians displaced by the earthquake remain without adequate shelter.

USAID, the U.S. State Department’s development agency, pledged to build 15,000 homes but has so far only delivered 900.


Click HERE for the full text.

Why Cholera Justice Matters

November 5, 2015 - 11:45

This post is very short but makes an important point about why we must all fight for justice for Haiti’s cholera victims.

An excerpt is below. Click HERE for the full post.

Fighting for Cholera Victims in Haiti

November 5, 2015

October marked 5 years since the Cholera outbreak in Haiti.

To date, there have been 8,847 confirmed Cholera related deaths in the country, and nearly 800,000 people have fallen sick. Personally, I know that I struggle to empathize with statistics, and it is hard to fathom what 8,847 lives lost really means – but then I think about how much it would hurt to lose just one person I hold dear…


Click HERE for the full post.

More Money, More Votes in October 25 Election

November 3, 2015 - 09:23

Though many in the international community have reported satisfaction with Haiti’s second round of elections, a major issue has been ignored: voting by political party representatives. Political party representatives called mandataires are allowed to vote unchecked in Haiti’s elections and in this one, there were almost a million mandataire passes issued. Not only that but political parties who couldn’t afford to use their passes sold them to the highest bidders. This means that parties with more money were able to effectively buy more votes. Now, everyone is waiting to see how this fraud will be accounted for in the election results.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Presidential Elections in Haiti: The Most Votes Money Can Buy

Center for Economic and Policy Research
November 3, 2015

On Monday, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced that the preliminary results of the October 25 presidential and legislative elections, expected to be announced today, would be delayed until Thursday. The delay has been attributed to the formation of a committee by the CEP to investigate allegations of fraud coming from political parties and local observer groups. The committee consists of five members of the electoral council. Of the 162 complaints received, the committee says 43 are being followed up on, though few are placing their trust in the process.

The elections were praised after there were only a few sporadic outbursts of violence, leading many in the international community to quickly conclude that there were few problems. Just as it had done in August, the Organization of American States (OAS) proclaimed the day after the vote that any problems “did not affect the overall course of the election.” After violence shut down nearly one out of every six voting centers in the August legislative elections, this was apparently the new standard by which to judge the elections.

At least a half-dozen leading presidential candidates have come out before results are even announced to denounce widespread fraud in favor of the government’s candidate, Jovenèl Moïse. The allegations have been wide ranging: replacement of ballot boxes with fakes distributed by ambulances, mass ballot box stuffing, and burning of ballots for opposition candidates. Little proof has been provided to back up these claims. But the most blatant example was there for everyone to see on election day, and was in fact anticipated by electoral officials and international observers.


Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti’s Electoral Council Delays Results

November 3, 2015 - 05:42

The preliminary results of Haiti’s contentious second round of elections were due November 3rd but have been delayed by the Electoral Council. The Electoral Council says it needs more time to deal with allegations of fraud in the voting process.

Haiti needs more time to issue preliminary election results

Yahoo! News
November 3, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitians will have to wait longer for official preliminary results from last month’s first-round presidential election.

The leader of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council said last week that the top two finishers in the Oct. 25 vote would be announced Tuesday.

The council now says it will issue preliminary results on Thursday.

It says the additional time is needed to reconcile complaints of fraud submitted by various quarters in recent days. Out of a total of 162 complaints, 43 have been evaluated as admissible and forwarded to a tabulation center.

Haitians had to grapple with an unusually long ballot featuring 54 presidential candidates when they cast their votes.

International observers said balloting went relatively smoothly. But some political factions claim votes have gone missing, among other fraud accusations.


Click HERE for the original article.

Brian Concannon Breaks Down Haiti’s Elections (Interview)

November 2, 2015 - 12:51

There were some major problems with Haiti’s first round of presidential elections on October 25, including very low voter turnout and stuffing of ballot boxes. Now what remains to be seen is how much the rampant fraud will affect the results, and who will go on to the presidential runoff in December. In this radio segment, Brian Concannon explains the issues with October 25 (and the August 9th round before that), and how the US is involved in Haiti’s elections.

The segment description is below. Click HERE to listen to the segment.

Haiti Elections Are So Problematic, They May Be a Prelude to a Coup

Uprising with Sonali

November 2, 2015

GUEST: Brian Concannon Jr., Executive director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.

Haitians went to the polls on October 25th for the first round of voting in Presidential elections. The elections were to be held in August but were postponed due to violence. Current President Michel Martelly who has long enjoyed US government support, has campaigned heavily for his favored candidate, Jovenel Moise, an agribusiness magnate. Meanwhile, former President Jean Bertrand Aristide of the Lavalas Party, who was ousted in a US-backed coup over 10 years ago and exiled for 7 years, has thrown his weight behind a physician named Dr. Maryse Narcisse. But widespread problems with the vote have raised serious concerns about the first round of voting. There have been widespread reports of vote rigging through stuffing the ballot box, as well as destroying ballots. Martelly’s supporters promise violence if his chosen successor does not make it into the first round.

Find out more information at


Click HERE to listen to the segment.

Low Voter Turnout and Voter Suppression Taint Haiti Election

November 2, 2015 - 11:05

IJDH’s Brian Concannon and Haiti Action Committee’s Pierre Labossiere discuss Haiti’s October 25 elections (starts around minute 30). Not only did the threat of violence cause low voter turnout in many areas but in areas with higher turnout, massive voter suppression occurred. Most of these threats to democracy were carried out by or in favor of people affiliated with Haiti’s current president, Michel Martelly.


The segment description is below. Click HERE for the audio.

Massive Voter Suppression In Haiti

Glen Ford & Nellie Bailey, Black Agenda Radio

November 2, 2015

Haiti held presidential elections on October 25, following disastrous legislative elections this summer that were wracked by violence perpetrated by allies of the U.S. backed government. The failure to punish those responsible for the repression on August 9 produced a “catastrophically low” turnout of 20 to 30 percent in October, said Brian Concannon, of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. His interpretation is disputed by Pierre Labossiere, of Haiti Action, who was part of a human rights and fact-finding mission to the island nation. Labossiere believes supporters of the Family Lavalas party of former president Jean Bertrand-Aristide, who was deposed in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup, turned out in huge numbers in October, but that many were denied access to the polls. He predicts that vote tallies to be released this week will show Lavalas was able “to overcome a lot of these fraudulent practices that were carried out.”


Click HERE for the audio.

Delegation Reports the Truth about Haiti’s Elections

October 29, 2015 - 10:43

Most of the international coverage of Haiti’s elections hasn’t discussed the crucial next step: counting the votes. Besides the voter suppression, ballot-stuffing and other Election Day irregularities, there have been some suspicious occurrences on the way to the vote tabulation center as well. The US can play a key role in making sure these elections are fair, and many prominent figures are calling for the US to do so.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Fact finding delegation reports an electoral coup now in process in Haiti

Pierre Labossiere, Yvon Kernizan, Margaret Prescod, Walter Riley and Barbara Rhine; San Francisco Bay View
October 29, 2015

Following Haiti’s controversial presidential and legislative elections held on Sunday, Oct. 25, alarm is growing about irregularities in the counting of the votes at voting centers and in the transportation of votes to the tabulation center. There is widespread mistrust of the process.

Most international observers of the election and subsequent press reports have focused on the day of the election but not on the vital final stage of the electoral process – the counting and tabulation of the votes.

Although multiple political parties are protesting the post-election counting process, Haiti’s ruling party is praising the vote and objecting to critiques of the tabulation process. CEP (Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council) has yet to make an official statement to address the growing concerns.


Click HERE for the full text.

CARICOM Election Observers Note Irregularities on October 25

October 29, 2015 - 09:13

Although many have praised the October 25 round of elections for the lack of violence compared to August 9th, there were many irregularities (including ballot stuffing) that day. An observer group from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) noted that practices for identifying voters varied across polling stations, there wasn’t enough privacy in voting booths, and more transparency is needed in the vote-tallying process.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Caricom observers warn of ‘anomalies’ in Haiti poll process

Jamaica Observer

October 29, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — A Caribbean Community (Caricom) team that observed the legislative and first-round presidential elections in Haiti last Sunday is warning of “anomalies” that, if not corrected, “could lead to undesirable sequels in the future”.

The 11-member team headed by the chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr Steve Surujbally, said “too many anomalies pertaining to voting norms exist”, but noted “whether these were accidental or due to deficiencies in the training of the CEP (Provisional Electoral Council) cadre could not be ascertained”.

It noted that the CEP does not recruit its own staff directly, rather extraneous bodies such as non-governmental organisations, political parties and civil society organisations, propose candidates for selection.


Click HERE for the full text.

Widespread Fraud Observed in Haiti’s October 25 Election

October 29, 2015 - 07:45

Though on the surface, Haiti’s October 25 election appeared to go well, one didn’t have to look too closely to find massive fraud in the process. Besides the widespread ballot stuffing, more than half of the voters were monitors from political parties and many of these monitors found ways to vote several times or sell their ID cards to others who would vote for certain candidates. The vote-counting process is supposed to take away some of these fraudulent ballots but there is not much faith that Haiti’s vote tabulation center can handle it effectively. The outcome of this election is crucial for Haiti’s future.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haitian observers: ‘Massive fraud’ in vote

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
October 29, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE — By all accounts, Haiti’s recent vote to restore parliament and select a successor to President Michel Martelly was one of the most tranquil elections the country has seen in recent years. Whether the vote was fair and transparent is still up in the air.

Four local observer groups and opposition presidential candidates are denouncing what they say was “systematic, massive fraud” during the vote for president, parliament and local mayors. Among the allegations: ballots were stuffed in boxes during the final hours of voting, and political party monitors voted multiple times for a candidate.

On Thursday, one of the top presidential candidates, former Sen. Moise Jean-Charles, said checked ballots with his name are being burned. In response, supporters burned tire barricades in parts of the capital.


Click HERE for the full text.

Unjust DR Policies Bar Children from Education

October 29, 2015 - 05:04

Tens of thousands of children born in the Dominican Republic are unable to attend high school due to bureaucratic hurdles meant to exclude children of Haitian descent. Because of these practices, these children have to end their education early and are limited in their future opportunities. Making matters worse, their children are often in the same predicament once it’s their turn to attend high school, making this a problem passed down through generations. The article below follows the story of one such Dominican man, who, despite facing the risk of deportation, is mainly concerned with his own daughter getting an education.

Born Dominican, but Locked Out by Haitian Roots and Lack of ID

Sandra E. Garcia, The New York Times
October 29, 2015

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — On any given weekday morning, children in the capital pile one behind the other on motoconchos, or motorcycle taxis, their pale-blue school uniforms zipping by buses, trucks and cars, ponytails blowing in the wind.

Ruben Chery, 33, a barber in a neighborhood called Little Haiti, remembers going to public school like other Dominican-born children. He remembers the excitement of waking up and heading out to class. But most of all, like a sharp slap, he remembers the bitter moment when his seventh-grade teacher told him that he could not continue his education, that he would never move on to high school.

“I didn’t have any identifying documents; I could not finish my high school education,” Mr. Chery said. “I am stuck in the seventh grade forever.”

For years, going to high school in the Dominican Republic required proof of citizenship, an obstacle that tens of thousands of people of Haitian descent — even many who were born here, like Mr. Chery — have struggled their entire lives to overcome and even passed on to their children.

Obtaining that proof can be nearly impossible, the legacy of a bureaucracy that academics say has long sought to block the children of Haitian migrants from gaining an official foothold in the country.

Haitian migrants have had trouble getting birth certificates for the children they have had in this country for generations. Then, when those Dominican-born children grow old enough to have families of their own, they have no documentation to prove their nationality, either.

“This perpetuates the cycle of a second-class population or lower-class population in the country,” said B. Shaw Drake, a co-author of a book called “Left Behind: How Statelessness in the Dominican Republic Limits Children’s Access to Education.”

By 2012, there were 48,000 students in the Dominican Republic’s education system at risk of not being able to attend high school because they lacked the proper identification, Mr. Drake estimates.

Things are supposed to be different now.

The Ministry of Education says it sent memos in 2013 to all regional education directors, district directors and directors of education centers instructing them to allow all elementary and secondary school students to be enrolled, whether the children had identifying documents or not.

“Now we can assign a unique number to the students,” said Víctor Sánchez, vice minister of education. “With this number, we have a system and we can track the students allowing them to progress with their education.”

But Wade McMullen, who has studied these issues as managing attorney at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and has represented Dominicans affected by the denationalization policies, does not think that the issue can be solved by simply sending a memo.

“What oftentimes happens is that the government will put out a memo, but won’t follow up to see if it is implemented,” Mr. McMullen said. “A memo is a great start, but it is not sufficient; they are going to need enforcement of that memo to counteract the systematic discrimination that has been entrenched in the Dominican Republic.”

Mr. Chery now worries whether his own daughter will hit the same roadblocks he did. His parents — Elviro Chery and Zoraida Felix — arrived in the Dominican Republic in 1960 as migrant workers in the sugar cane fields.

“They worked like slaves in the cane fields, and they would never be asked to identify themselves,” he said. “They were just told to cut sugar cane and live near the fields if they pleased, and that’s what they did.”

“My mother couldn’t get me a birth certificate,” he added. “She could never register herself because she was undocumented.”

Mr. Chery’s father died in 2002, and his mother in 2005. This made it even harder for Mr. Chery to be able to get identifying documents and ensure that the following generation of Cherys did not have to deal with the same pitfalls.

Mr. Chery’s daughter Rubencia is now in the second grade.

“I made a deal with her teacher,” said Mr. Chery, who asked her teacher to let her into the first-grade class even though she is 9. “She started a little late.”

Under the new policy, Rubencia is supposed to be able to attend high school, but would not be able to go on to higher education because those institutions still require identifying documents to enroll. “She will be limited because she does not have an identity,” Mr. Chery said.

“There is an enormous class of people that have yet to receive a higher education,” Mr. McMullen said. “What we have is a proposed solution from the government saying that this law washes their hand of any responsibility.”

Mr. Chery still wants to study somehow and have a profession. Besides the need for a solid income, he said, he also feels “inferior, I feel insecure, invalid. I do not feel like I am the person I want to be.”

Mr. Chery saw the long lines of Haitian immigrants and Dominican-born Haitians waiting to register with the government a few months ago. Anyone who did not register, the government warned, could be thrown out of the country.

The deadline passed in June, and according to the government, 40,000 Haitians decided to leave the country on their own rather than face the upheaval of a sudden deportation and the loss of their belongings in the process.

The Dominican Republic said it has begun deporting undocumented people who remain and are not registered. About 4,650 people have been expelled so far, according to the government.

“There will be no witch hunts,” said Washington Gonzalez, the vice minister of the interior and the police. “We want a normal process.”

Tens of thousands of people registered with the government in the hope of staying in the country, the government said. Mr. Chery was not one of them. With no documentation to show, he decided it was pointless.

“The government won’t recognize me as a citizen,” he said.

The government estimates that 100,000 immigrants did not register. But even people who think their papers are neatly in order can run into snags that upend their lives.

Formena Michel, 56, said she went to get her Dominican identity card when she was 14 years old, using her birth certificate as proof. The clerk gave her an identity card, Ms. Michel said, but took the birth certificate and never returned it.


Ms. Michel moved on with her life. She married and had 10 children, managing to get birth certificates for all of them. Her children were the first in her family to complete high school.

Yet identity questions still arise. Ms. Michel said her youngest son recently applied for a passport to visit Spain but was denied. The government claimed his mother was Haitian, so he was unable to receive a Dominican passport.

“They say they can’t find me in the registry, not in any book or any list,” said Ms. Michel, a domestic worker.

The government informed Ms. Michel that the identity card she was using was not her own, but belonged to someone else instead. Worried about being deported, she is attending hearings to try to prove it is hers.

Situations like this happen often because “local workers grow up in a society deep in anti-Haitian sentiment, and they take the law into their own hands,” Mr. McMullen said, preventing Haitian migrants or Dominicans of Haitian descent from rights granted to them by Dominican laws.

For now, Mr. Chery is not particularly worried about the possible threat of deportation. His main concern is that his daughter gets an education.

“I want her to have a career,” he said.


Click HERE for the original article.