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Martelly’s election review commission a third strike

Staff Writer

Haiti Sentinel

Election Evaluation Commission, Evans Paul

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – The totalitarian regime of President Michel Martelly installed its third election verification commission on Tuesday. If the first two commissions were strikes for having been created unilaterally and consisting of members of questionable objectivity, the third is no different. Moreover, an overwhelming number of Haitians have declared at the onset of the commission that they are not expecting a real and independent investigation into elections that have not reflected the will of voters.

Even within minutes of being installed, no Haitian outside of the Martelly regime knew who the members of the commission would be. “Breaking news” bulletins on several radio stations reported receiving a phone call from the office of the de facto Prime Minister Evans Paul, announcing that an installation of the members would be taking place at 6 PM, Christmas Eve, but each news anchor reporting the information expressed their dismay at not knowing who would make up the commission.

Political parties, candidates and influential personalities of civil society did not participate in the selection of the commission’s member either. Even as one sector, the human rights sector, is said to be represented by the participation of a member of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH) on the commission, all other organizations defending human rights, including the parent organization of RNDDH, the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organization (POHDH), denounced no knowledge of the appointment and the participation of the organization in the regime’s maneuvering.

The first election evaluation commission was created at the level of the de facto prime ministry. The second, at the level of the National Palace, was decried for the same as the first, the unilateral manner in which it was created. It was deemed not independent. With this commission, the regime made sure to give it the word  “independent” in its name but this has not stopped it from receiving the same, if not more severe, criticisms.

Commission Members

Euvonie Auguste

Euvonie Auguste, a vodou priestess was installed to the regime’s commission as “a representative of the vodou sector” but the organizational leadership within the religion say they were not consulted on this choice. Mambo Auguste is most decried as a partisan to the Martelly regime because her daughter is employed in the office of the de facto PM, Evans Paul. The interests of Euvonie Auguste in this regard therefore conflict.

Rosny Desroches

Rosny Desroches, a professor and director of his organization, the Civil Society Initiative (ISC), has been long decried by the greater Haitian population for his dubious ties to a faction of diplomats in Haiti calling themselves the Core Group. Desroches directs an election observation organization called the Citizen’s Observation for Institutionalization and Democracy (OCID), which is funded by the European Union, a member of the infamous Core Group.

Just a day after the August 9, 2015 legislative elections, which were marred by widespread violence and blatant ballot box-stuffing, OCID had issued a report echoing the Core Group, saying it was satisfied with those elections. Even the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and 61 U.S. Congresspersons disagreed with that claim.

Desroche’s organization would also later say that it was satisfied with the October 25, 2015 elections, before changing that position in mid-December and saying it supported an investigation commission. This change of position took place on the eve of Desroche being named to the regime’s first clandestine election evaluation commission which failed.

Patrick Aris

Monsignor Patrick Aris was part of the December 2014 commission which was established by President Michel Martelly to answer the crisis of protests in the streets, calls for the president’s resignation and the eventual dissolution of the Haitian Parliament. The commission, in all intents and purposes, was established to save Martelly from being overthrown.

This commission is decried by Haitian for recommending the resignation of former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, who was not the target of street protests. A member of this very same commission which recommended the former PM’s resignation, would become the de facto Prime Minister, Evans Paul. Patrick Aris and the institution he represents also took part in other commissions, meetings and accords, notably the El Rancho accord, and has always been the go-to for the Martelly regime. The acts of Aris and his conference have helped stall a credible electoral process in Haiti and eventually the establishment of the current totalitarian government. The monsignor does not inspire confidence in the commission.

Gédéon Jean

Gédéon Jean is said to be the representative of the human rights sector via the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH) but is not, at least, not until very recently. Jean is the director of his own organization called the Analysis Center for Research in Human Rights (CARDH). His only bit of notoriety in Haiti is for an overview report that his organization presented over the summer on the history of elections in Haiti. It appears that Jean is merely using the name of RNDDH which has some notable credibility in Haiti. All other human rights organizations have expressed their deception to Jean and RNDDH’s actions in this sense.

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