PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – On Thursday, the United Nations in Haiti, rather than signaling an attempt to investigate, “categorically denied” allegations it, or its personnel, were involved in a vast electoral fraud operation.
In a press note, the UN called the allegations that were long-rumored, supported by anomalous events, then testified to by a reelected deputy of the ruling party, as “erroneous and slanderous”. In seeming defiance of Haitians’ right to transparency, the UN made no mention that it would take dispositions necessary to review the claims.
Damaging is that Haitians are moreover not trusting of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, who leads the peacekeeping forces and UN apparatus in the country.
A Founded Distrust
For nearly five years, the United Nations had given steadfast support to the administration of President Michel Martelly as elections were overdue through 2011 to 2015.
Even as tens of thousands marched in the streets for democracy to be maintained in Haiti, UN peacekeepers and its diplomats, maintained a barrier between the people and its leaders, which is the root of trust issues.
Haiti went from a democracy of 5,000 elected officials nationwide to a totalitarian regime ruled by one, Michel Martelly, who never shied away from revealing his plans of establishing a dictatorship. In a 2010 interview, a few months before elections, he gave a video interview where he said he planned on destroying the Haitian Parliament.
The Miami New Times wrote in a 1997 interview with the former musician:
‘Still, Martelly is not afraid to reveal that he has given serious thought to his philosophy of government. “First thing, after I establish my power, which would be very strong and necessary, I would close that congress thing. La chambre des deputes. Le senat.” He claps his hands. “Out of my way.” For the first year he would outlaw all strikes and demonstrations.’
The UNs renewed support for Martelly after the fall of Haiti’s Parliament, its justice system and local government infrastructure, engendered more misgivings. A climate of police repression has settled in over the years with the excessive use of chemical gas and abuse against non-violent protests.
All this is taking place in a context of continuing revelations, including by the electoral council president, himself, who said that Martelly was not “elected” in 2010 but a product of the Core Group, including the UN, and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
During those elections, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) paid out, to the tune of $100,000, a payment to Mouvement Tet Kale, after the group had conducted violent riots in 2010 used to justify Martelly’s ascension to power.
Judge and Party
As Martelly sits at the head of a totalitarian regime, having full and unchecked power over the government and all the resources of the state, he is also the leader of his own political party that is participatory in elections that the public has deemed a “masquerade” and “electoral coup d’etat”.
It would likely take transparency and not a defensive attitude for Haitians to believe that the powerful United Nations Elections Logistical Coordinator, Sylvain Coté, who has political ties with the Martelly regime, was not involved in a fraudulent operation supported by circumstantial evidence.
The electoral process taking place in Haiti in 2015 is overwhelmingly regarded as fraudulent, where the embattled ruling party has led in picking up Parliamentary seats, local government seats, and its candidate for president, leading at the top of preliminary results.
In the first round August 9, 2015 legislative elections, Michel Martelly’s Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK) was most attributed to election violence that ruled that day. This was confirmed by reports of human rights and observing organizations and officially acknowledged by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Pierre Louis Opont which took no action against the regime and its candidates.
In the second round, October 25, 2015 general elections, 61 U.S. Congressmen and women placed pressure on the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry to ensure that violence is not a part of these elections. Violence was not but PHTK was attributed to undertaking a massive fraud operation and at least two arrests of government officials and persons tied to the parties were made for multiple voting among other charges.
It deserves mentioning that the UN note came on the same day the Provisional Electoral Council had finally revealed that it found signs of a massive fraud operation.
UN Press Note
The United Nations system in Haiti wishes to make a formal denial to allegations unfounded, repeated through the media, of the alleged involvement of UNOPS in manipulation attempts in the recent elections.
These erroneous and slanderous allegations also refer to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
In the elections of August 9 and October 25, 2015, under the agreement with the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), UNOPS provided logistical support for the delivery and recovery of sensitive materials.
These sensitive materials, duly sealed, were transported in convoys under the responsibility of representatives of the CEP, accompanied by officers of the National Police of Haiti (PNH).
UNOPS has not, at any time, had access to the contents of the sealed materials and its mandate is strictly limited to logistical support.
The United Nations system in Haiti categorically rejects any disingenous attempt to discredit its assistance to Haiti Elections 2015.
Port-au-Prince, November 12, 2015