Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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U.S. pressures Haiti election verification of only 15%

Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – The Election Verification and Evaluation Commission on Friday left many observers stunned by announcing it would only be reviewing 15% of tally sheets in its analysis of the troubled 2015 elections.

Even in the United States an election couldn’t be called with only 15% of voting centers reporting, but in Haiti, U.S. diplomats are pushing Haitian leaders and the evaluation commission to make determinations on such a small sample.

Human rights organizations and a number of leading political parties, including Pitit Dessalines, have already expressed their opposition to the methodology. All believe that all 13,725 tally sheets should be reviewed or the electoral crisis will not be solved.

Political commentators Monday morning from the full spectrum of politics in Haiti all came to the conclusion that no matter the result that the commission determines, those placed unfavorably will have a problem.

The United States was said, by sources to radio journalists, to be placing undue pressure on the verification commission, Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and other institutions to speed up a process that it was comfortable delaying for more than 5 years.

Leading this effort is the U.S. State Department Special Coordinator for Haiti and former U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, who was appointed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and is a key figure in a number of scandals including the 2010 unilateral changing of election results. Also in the picture is the current U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Peter F. Mulrean, along with diplomats from the United Nations, European Union, France and Canada among others.

It appears that unless a full and transparent evaluation of the 2015 elections is undertaken, the long overdue electoral process, that all actors want completed, will not proceed to completion. The continued interference by the international community maintains the blame.

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About The Author

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.