Haiti Elections News Roundup - July 6

CEP member Nehemy Joseph has alleged that a collective of disqualified political candidates tried to organize an assassination plot against Joseph and other electoral councilors. In a radio interview last week, Joseph said CEP members had received credible information that a collective of disqualified candidates paid $5,000 USD to “a few assassins whose mission was to kill [CEP member] Jaccéus Joseph, myself and other councilors.” Jonas Coffy, a member of the collective of disqualified candidates, strongly denied these allegations, and went on to accuse Joseph of corruption for soliciting money from disqualified candidates in order to secure their reinstatement. So far, the Haitian National Police have yet to open an investigation on this matter.

The United States Ambassador to Haiti, Pamela White, expressed her concerns on the upcoming elections in Haiti at a large gala at her home on Thursday. She called on political actors and voters to “stop bickering over details, and start supporting the electoral process,” a likely reference to the protests and public campaigns of disqualified political candidates. She warned that if the tensions and concerns regarding the electoral rollout weren’t resolved soon, the international community would consider Haiti a “pays bloqué” (blocked country). Ambassador White also reaffirmed that the United States does not support a transitional government in Haiti, which has been a persistent rumor over the last few months. Ambassador White has, in the past, been criticized for supporting President Martelly over Haiti’s fair elections rules.

Jacky Lumarque and his allies continue to campaign for his reinstatement as a presidential candidate. On Monday, Lumarque’s VERITE party organized a protest in Port-au-Prince urging for his reinstatement and criticizing the CEP for his disqualification. On Thursday, Lumarque held a press conference where he called on the CEP to re-analyze his candidate registration materials, and to overturn his “arbitrary and illegal” disqualification. Meanwhile, CEP President Pierre-Louis Opont broke his silence on what led to Lumarque’s disqualification. In a radio interview on Tuesday, Opont affirmed that the CEP was justified in disqualifying Lumarque because he did not submit all of his décharges by the May 20th deadline for presidential candidate registration.

The Director of the Electoral Registry, Philippe Augustin, reported that 70% of the ballots for the legislative elections have already been printed in Dubai. Augustin specified that all of these ballots will be sent to Haiti along with other administrative materials in the next two weeks, as political commentators have expressed their concerns over a timely delivery of electoral materials. On Wednesday, CEP President Pierre-Louis Opont returned to Haiti from Dubai, and assured the public that all of the legislative ballots would be sent to Port-au-Prince on time. Opont also responded to the controversy around outsourcing the ballot prep by stressing that Haitian firms still have the opportunity to prepare ballots for the presidential and local elections, if they are awarded contracts by UNDP. 

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