News Release

Haitian Elections on Sunday “Neither Free Nor Fair”

ALEX MAIN, [now in Haiti]
Policy analyst with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Main said today: “These elections were already highly problematic before the cholera epidemic began to spread. Haiti’s electoral authority — the CEP [Provisional Electoral Council] — suffers from a lack of credibility; legitimate parties have been excluded from participating in the legislative elections, and very few effective measures have been taken to ensure that Haiti’s over 1.3 million displaced people would have access to the polls. As a result of these problems, there was already a high probability that voter turnout would be very low and that the elections would be widely seen as illegitimate. Now, with an uncontrollable and fatal epidemic further complicating the lives of Haitians, it is patently obvious that the elections should be postponed and measures should be taken to correct the current flaws in the electoral process.”

NICOLAS ROSSIER
Rossier is a documentary filmmaker whose work includes “Aristide and the Endless Revolution.” He recently interviewed Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Haitian president who was ousted in 2004. Video excerpts at Grit TV

See also transcript of interview at “An Exclusive Interview With Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

EZILI DANTO
Danto is president of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. She said today: “Obama denounced the recent ‘elections’ in Burma as ‘neither free nor fair.’ The Haitian ‘elections’ are also neither free nor fair. The largest party, Fanmi Lavalas, is excluded, as it has been in every election since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in 2004. Who will be able to vote is not clear — over 1.3 million earthquake victims are displaced, many don’t know which polling place to go to, don’t have their IDs and the country is in the middle of a cholera outbreak that the CDC says is non-Haitian and originated from South Asia. This environment will minimize the voice of most of the people while amplifying that of the Haitian oligarchy, mostly sustained by NGO and U.S. aid funds, living in the luxurious Petionville hills, who have their IDs and are not displaced.

“Another issue is that whoever is elected will have so little power. The UN, Bill Clinton and other foreigners through the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission largely run the country but are not accountable to the Haitian people.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167