PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – After several days of meetings, the no. 2 candidate for the presidency, Jude Celestin, threatened to forgo his participation in the December 27, 2015 presidential run-offs urging the electoral council and the Martelly regime to make changes.
The ultimatum signed by the Group of 8 (G8) leading presidential candidates, wrote that if the changes aren’t made, it will be determined that free, fair, inclusive elections cannot be held under the totalitarian regime of President Michel Martelly and with the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Pierre Louis Opont.
The G8 demanded the resignation of certain members of the CEP, new appointments to the head of the national police, new appointments of departmental directors and an audit of the electoral process. Their note follows:
November 29, 2015
Find that the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Pierre-Louis Opont displaying its determination to act in the most total opacity and shows proof of a legendary submission vis-a-vis the executive and international community in publishing the supposed final results of the elections of October 25, 2015, without regard to the request of the G8 to establish an independent commission of inquiry to purify the electoral process, to restore the sincerity of the vote and to exclude fraudsters process.
The G8 considers it unacceptable that the CEP published these results after recognizing the existence of massive fraud in the process and without seeking to determine, firstly, the extent of fraud and, secondly, to identify the fraudsters and apply the sanctions provided for by the electoral decree. It is unacceptable, disgusting and repugnant that the CEP manipulated a decision of the BCEN in trying to awkwardly pass the notion that all candidates in the process, whose names appear on the ballots are fraudsters, by removing votes and publishing the results for all candidates before and after the BCEN. Can we logically consider fraudsters those who have abandoned the race? This is contrary to the electoral decree which provides for the removal of the votes only to fraudsters in the analysis of a trial record. In doing so, the CEP, itself, moved in favor and defense of the government’s candidate that is denounced as the main beneficiary of fraud cases. From then on, members of CEP cease to be judges and present themselves as lawyers for the government’s candidate.
The G8 is convinced that fair, free, transparent and democratic elections can not be held under the chairmanship of Joseph Michel Martelly, without changes in the CEP, without a changes in command at certain departmental directorships and certain units of PNH, for the ends of reprisals and police repression against peaceful demonstrators.
The G8 reproaches the used of ski masks by police officers charged with guaranteeing the security. The instrumentalization of the police forces for political purposes is dangerous and contrary to the proper functioning of a democratic society.
The G8 acknowledges the will of a scoundrel CEP and Tet Kale regime to lead the country towards chaos and this leaves them with the only and very little chance at democracy, by fighting for the establishment of a transitional government charged to:
– Reform the State;
– Achieve a National Conference;
– Adopt a new Consitution;
– Organize credible general elections
and do this in a period not exceeding twenty-four months.
The G8 supports the popular demonstrations and intends to not disappoint the expectations of the population.
The G8, aware of the risk of infiltration at high-level events, asks the population to continue to exercise in care and peacefully their rights to demonstrate to enforce its will and it invites the population not to cede to blackmail, intimidation and manipulation.
United in solidarity, the G8 renews its will to do everything within the framework of the law, to enforce the popular will.
Sauveur Pierre Etienne
Moise Jean Charles
Correction: An earlier version of this article said the group had called for a transitional government but rather they placed an ultimatum for their continued participation.