Letter to Members of Parliament by Haiti Solidarity BC, Concerning Haiti Elections

November 5, 2010

Dear Member of Parliament,

As members of the Canada Haiti Action Network (CHAN) 1, we are writing to express our deep concern about Canada’s support for  exclusionary elections to be held in Haiti on November 28th 2010. These elections will arbitrarily exclude 14 political parties, most notably Haiti’s largest and most popular political party, the Fanmi Lavalas of exiled former President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Haiti cannot recover from the devastating January earthquake in a just and sustainable manner if its majority party is excluded from the democratic process. As documented by the September 15, 2010 human rights report We’ve Been Forgotten2, basic human rights have been neglected in Haiti’s reconstruction, including access to food, shelter, and sanitary conditions. These findings are especially troubling as Haiti grapples with the recent cholera outbreak and the onslaught of Tropical Storm Tomas.

The Government of Canada’s decision to provide $5.8 million for elections that fail to meet basic democratic requirements of being free, fair, and inclusive is counterproductive to Haiti’s successful reconstruction. We call on you to make a clear statement that elections in Haiti must include all representative political parties. Voting must be readily accessible for all Haitians, including the displaced. The Canadian government should cease to provide funding for elections that do not meet these minimum, basic democratic requirements.

For further background, please find enclosed with this letter:
1) The executive summary of the report We’ve Been Forgotten. The full report can be accessed at:
http://ijdh.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/IDP-Report-09.23.10-compressed.pdf
2) The October 7 statement by 45 members of U.S. Congress addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking the U.S. Government to withhold its own substantial funding for the exclusionary elections. http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/content/forty-five-members-us-congress-sign-letter-fair-and-inclusive-elections-haiti
3) A November 3 statement on the elections by the Canada Haiti Action Network,

For more information on Canada and Haiti, and to learn more about CHAN, please see:
www.canadahaitiaction.ca

On behalf of Haiti Solidarity BC,

Roger Annis, Bill Burgess, Stuart Hammond, and Melanie Spence

1. The Canada Haiti Action Network (CHAN) is an information and advocacy network that formed after a
U.S., France, and Canada-backed coup d’etat toppled Haiti’s elected government on February 29th 2004.
2. Issued jointly by the Institute for Justice and Democracy