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Monday, January 24, 2011

US Urges Democracy in Haiti Using Fraudulent Elections Results by Stanley Lucas

Last week, U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, addressed the heightened tensions surrounding the elections in Haiti after Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s return to the country saying that Haiti must "outline a very clear way forward" that "include[s] announcing first-round results and conducting second-round elections in a manner consistent with the recommendations and findings of the OAS technical review."  She went on to say that "sustained support from the international community, including the United States, requires a credible process that represents the will of the Haitian people, as expressed by their votes."

But the OAS technical recommendations do not fix the fact that rampant and blatant fraud occurred during the elections. Jacques Bernard a State Department consultant that worked in Afghanistan dispatched to Haiti found that 57% of the tallysheets were rigged and also see the Wall Street Journal analysis: .  

The Haitian people saw official ballots littering the streets and alleyways and empty ballot boxes thrown into ditches.  They saw people stuffing handfuls of ballots into boxes (see below).  No run-off fixes that reality.  The entire voting process was compromised.  If the US is serious about democracy and “reflecting the will of the people” they should be standing behind the Haitian political parties and Haitian democrats who are advocating for invoking Article 149 of the Constitution and installing a provisional president from the Supreme Court.  The new provisional president would be responsible for reorganizing free and fair elections in six months or a year’s time.  This process worked in 2006 and the Haitian people trust it.  To try to cobble together a solution out of this mess will be unsustainable and lack confidence at this point.  Preval has managed to drag this out for so long hoping that the longer it takes the more desperate people will become for a solution.  His term ends on February 7, 2011, so he is buying time.

Americans would never accept elections like those that occurred in Haiti.  They went to the Supreme Court for hanging chads.  Why should they be calling for Haitians to accept fraudulent elections?  Everyone argues that it is in the interest of stability, but what stability is there in country now?  This run-off solution would bring about only short-term stability.  It’s essentially “punting” on the issue or kicking the can down the road.  It leaves the job undone and leaves unresolved issues in the country.  Doing the right thing here is tough and requires more work, but it is the only sustainable solution.