Haiti Elections News Roundup - August 21

Interim President Jocelerme Privert has bypassed the political gridlock in Haiti’s parliament and set elections officially for Oct 9. Despite its withdrawal of electoral funding on July 7, the U.S. expressed its confidence in Haiti’s ability to organise fair elections. Kenneth Merten, the Department of State’s Special Coordinator for Haiti, stated in clear terms: “I am confident that Haitians can organize good elections. If the elections are good, the U.S. will not have any problems with the Haitian government.”
President Privert assured the public that the elections will be funded nationally, affirming that the $55 million needed for the elections are available in the public treasury. “It is a matter of national sovereignty,” he stated. In contrast, former Prime Minister Evans Paul said that finding the money to hold the elections will be “an unsurmountable challenge” for Privert. In response, members of the Haitian Diaspora offered to contribute to help finance the elections. The IC (L’initative Citoyenne; The Citizens’ Initiative) welcomed the government’s decision to fund the elections nationally and strongly opposed the printing of the ballot papers abroad.

The OAS welcomed the announcement of the elections declaring that it will observe the October 9 vote. The OAS electoral mission finally released a report on the CIEVE (Independent Electoral Evaluation and Verification Commission) report.  In stark contrast to EU and the US, the OAS respected Haiti’s decision to rerun the elections, while recommending improvements to the electoral process to remove obstacles to voting. For example, the OAS urged the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to distribute electoral lists in a timely manner and to train staff ahead of the elections. The OAS also suggested sanctioning candidates implicated in incidents of violence and intimidation, introducing electronic registration of party representatives, and adopting fingerprint technology. The EU observation mission announced its withdrawal from Haiti, in protest over the decision to discard the results of October 25 presidential election and start again.

G30, a group uniting thirty minority candidates, has renamed itself as RCG30 (The Grouping of G30 and its allies) and decided to put forward Jacques Sampeur, of KLE (Konbit Liberasyon Ekonomik; The Economic Liberation Collective) as its candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

OPL (l’Organisation du Peuple en Lutte) announced a possible alliance with LAPEH (Ligue alternative pour le Progrès et l’Émancipation d’Haïti; The Alternative League for the Progress and Emancipation of Haiti).

Moïse Jean-Charles from Pitit Dessalines recently travelled to the U.S., stating that he was planning the next steps in his presidential campaign.

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