Haiti Elections News Roundup - August 3

On Tuesday, during a meeting of PHTK in Miragoâne (Nippes), the President, Michel Martelly, verbally abused a woman who publicly questioned the effectiveness of his government. In his response, the President went as far as to say that he would break her jaw and have sexual intercourse with her were he not the President. In direct reaction to this incident, twelve feminist organizations have issued a statement strongly condemning the President’s actions.

On Wednesday, the CEP declared that it sees no direct relationship between the recent instances of violence and the upcoming elections that are to take place on the 9th of August.  CEP re-affirmed its commitment to holding free and fair elections in line with agreed schedule. These comments were echoed by the Prime Minister, Evans Paul, in a special meeting of the  6th Government Council, which was held on Thursday. He stated that the Government, the CEP, the National Police and all other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Finance and Economy are all ready for the upcoming elections.  During the meeting a new security provision was agreed upon. It will take affect from midnight on the 7th of August. This new legislative measure:  bans public demonstrations, forbids the selling of alcohol and requires all night clubs to remain closed in the days leading up to the legislative elections.  In addition, on the day of the elections itself, the possession of arms will be forbidden and the movement of traffic will be greatly restricted. Ariel Henry, the Minister of Regions and the Interior, also stated that the country’s border will be closed from Saturday to the end of the elections on Sunday. 

Members of the VERITE Platform took to the streets on Wednesday demanding the inclusion of their candidate, Jacky Lumarque, on the electoral lists. They also denounced alleged systematic attacks against their candidates over the last few weeks. VERITE announced two other demonstrations that will take place on the 8th and the 9th of August. If they do go ahead, these demonstrations will be against the new security provision. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Denis Pierre Lima, deputy candidate from REPSE in Torbeck/Chantal, was reportedly attacked by a former deputy from Fanmi Lavalas, Guy Gérard Georges, and a group of armed men who were shooting in the direction of Lima’s car. The candidate and a young woman were hurt.

Also on Wednesday, the 5,248,960 ballot papers finally arrived at the Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. The ballots were printed in Dubai.

On Thursday, Alfredo Junior Antoine, deputy candidate from KID (Konvansyon Inite Demokratik) in Kenscoff (West), was arrested by officers from BLTS (la Brigade de lutte contre le trafic de stupéfiants ; Anti-drug-trafficking Brigade). 

Also on Thursday, in a meeting organized by Yves Rose Morquette, the Minister for Women’s Rights and Condition, Elisabeth Beton Delègue (Ambassador of France), Pamela A. White (U.S. Ambassador) and Paula Caldwell St Onge (Ambassador of Canada) all reaffirmed their support for female candidates to the Senate, encouraging female participation in the electoral process. They regret the low level of female representation in the upcoming elections on the 9th of August.

On Saturday, Germain Fils Alexandre, deputy candidate in Petit-Goâve from VERITE Plateform, was allegedly a victim of targeted violence against him and his supporters.  He accuses Jacques Stevenson Thimoléon, from PHTK, of being responsible for this attack. As Alexandre was returning from Allègue, his car was stopped and rocks were thrown at it by Thimoléon and a group of his supporters. No one was hurt.

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