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Leading candidate’s hometown residents protest election results

Staff Writer

Haiti Sentinel

Trou-du-Nord, November 9, 2015
Discontent at election results, Trou-du-Nord, November 9, 2015

TROU-DU-NORD, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – As widespread demonstrations continue throughout Haiti over the October 25, 2015 election results, strikingly, the hometown of the leading candidate for president, Jovenel Moïse, has been protesting against the results and the incumbent party for quite some time.

Election results, Trou-du-Nord
Police confrontation expected after election results, Trou-du-Nord, November 2015

Trou-du-Nord is where the ruling party, Parti Haitien Tet Kale‘s (PHTK), candidate for president hails from, and where he was expected to do favorably but votes on the order of a 5,000-count spread in down ballot races has exposed a massive fraud operation that has been alleged since the evening of the election day. An estimated 7,000 had participated in the vote.

This week a protest was held to denounce the “electoral coup d’etat” repeated by many Haitians observing the contests. Burning tires have been a staple, constructed as barricades in the town of a population of about 35,000.

On the eve of the violence-ridden August 9, 2015 elections, government property, such as the town hall, tax office and vehicles were burned in a show of discontent with the mobilization of state resources for the campaigns of the ruling party’s candidates.

PHTK’s candidate for president, Jovenel Moïse, an unknown before being given the first place position in preliminary election results by the Provisional Electoral Council of Pierre Louis Opont, has a banana plantation located in Trou-du-Nord that has been purported as being owned by him.

Moïse’s proclaimed ownership and management of the plantation project was funded by $27 million from the Public Treasury. It has been the rallying cry for his Neg Bannan campaign but it was revealed by the former President of the National Assembly, Simon Desras, that Jovenel Moïse is not in fact the proprietor of the plantation as is being trumpeted.

Rather, according to Desras, he was farmhand for the project that is owned by First Lady Sophia Martelly and her infamous brother, Kiko Saint Remy. Moïse was a gardener for Kiko who has ties with drug-trafficking, money laundering and kidnapping syndicates in Haiti. The Minister of the Economy, Wilson Laleau, also is said to have a stake in the project and the minister’s cousin is the wife of Moïse.

Trou-du-Nord, December 2014
Image from December 2014 protest for utilities in Trou-du-Nord

Trou-du-Nord has been a location where violent protests were held in the past year. The town, and neighboring towns in the North East Department, were subject to an extended and severe blackout of electricity and water. Citizens continue to hold the Martelly administration responsible, believing poor financial management on the part of the state as the reason for the outage.

Trou-du-Nord August 6, 2015
Demonstration against use of public resources for ruling party’s campaigns on eve of August 9, 2015 elections. August 6, 2016
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