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U.S. diplomats in Haiti Parliament to oppose election verification

Staff Writer

Haiti Sentinel

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Ambassadors of countries calling themselves “Friends of Haiti” were lining up in Haiti’s Parliament on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, to put pressure on the country’s politicians to not support an election verification commission, despite an overwhelming majority of Haitians wanting one.

U.S. Ambassador Peter F. Mulrean at the Haitian Parliament. Wednesday April 20, 2016

U.S. Ambassador Peter F. Mulrean was among the group of foreign diplomats in the “Haitian People’s House”, the Parliament, on Wednesday. The main purpose of this “courtesy visit” was to express the U.S.’s disapproval with a review of the vote.

Ambassador Mulrean and some from a sect of diplomats in Haiti calling themselves the “Core Group” were less than tactful, by all accounts of political analysts, who on radio and television news shows, repeatedly referred the diplomats to the Vienna Conventions and violations regarding the interference with internal politics of foreign nations.

The 2015 elections were full of violence and massive fraud but the former outgoing president of Haiti, Michel Martelly, unlawfully and illegitimately installed a portion of the “reported” winners of these elections into legislative seats. As Haitians are also calling for the audit to comprise the aforementioned 50th Legislature of the 2015 elections, U.S. Ambassador Mulrean was sure to show his and the Obama administration’s satisfaction with the existence of the embattled legislature.

In other declarations, Mulrean said the U.S. was not in support of the verification commission because it was not part of a February 5 agreement between with outgoing president and the aforementioned 50th Legislature. Mulrean expressed his bias towards a commission, saying he worried it would be used as a political instrument and said the impatience for elections was another reason for the opposition.

Days earlier, the U.S. State Department Special Coordinator on Haiti, Kenneth Merten, falsely and condescendingly said it was only losers of the elections asking for the verification commission. The truth is, Jude Celestin, one of two victors of the presidential vote and tens of thousands of protesters had been calling for such a commission which brought the electoral process to a halt.

After Merten was the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who went to Miami to declare his impatience with the delay in completing the 2015 electoral cycle as he called members of Haiti’s less-than-one-month-old provisional government “so called leaders”. Kerry and his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, were chastised in the Haitian press for supporting a policy against organizing elections over the course of the previous 5 years, and now expressing impatience when Haitians call for a verification of the vote.

The United States and Core Group are supporting the candidate of the former ruling party, Jovenel Moïse, of Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK), who was given a first place 33% finish in the first round of presidential elections. Exit polling and other data shows that the PHTK candidate likely earned 6% of the vote, a fourth place finish that would not qualify him for the presidential runoffs.

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