On November 28, Haiti’s first round legislative and presidential elections were so tainted, they elevated sham elections to a new level – a cruel joke, a process in name only, one fraudulent enough to make a despot blush. Now round two, New York Times writer, Deborah Sontag, headlining, “Candidates Face Runoff in Haiti’s Troubled Vote,” saying:
On December 7, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced “that Mirlande Manigat, a former Haitian first lady, and Jude Celestin, (Preval’s man), had won the first round of voting.”
Correction: stole the first round. Neither candidate was the people’s choice. For them, none of the above ranked first, followed by Jean-Henry Ceant, a Haitian businessman, community leader and philanthropist.
He campaigned on Aristide’s slogan: “All people are people/Everyone is equal (tou moun se moun).” Like so many previous times, it may have been campaign hyperbole. Now eliminated, we’ll never know. What is clear is that Haitians again were defrauded, an old story they never accept.
In a mid-November interview, Aristide’s spokeswoman Maryse Narcisse said:
Fanmi Lavalas supporters (the vast majority) “are not participating in an illegal election. The November 28 elections are not elections. It’s a selection process. What we’re doing now is mobilizing people, sensitizing people against the selection. With this selection process, we are not going anywhere. We are moving towards instability that will last for many years.”
America controls everything in Haiti, orchestrating coup d’etat rule. Its iron fist is always ready to prevent democratic elections for populist governance, an anathema notion Washington rejects everywhere, including at home.
Sontag described a “long, tense day,” then the 9PM electoral results announcement, followed by “rock-throwing, tire-burning and shooting in several urban neighborhoods and outside (Port-au-Prince). Toward midnight, smoke curled into the sky….protesters’ chants and drums filled the air.”
The US Embassy issued a boilerplate statement, saying:
The United States, together with Haiti’s international community partners, stands ready to support efforts to thoroughly review irregularities in support of electoral results that are consistent with the will of the Haitian people expressed in their votes.
In fact, Washington and its puppet, Preval, orchestrated the fraud, banned 15 parties, including by far the most popular – Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas that easily would have won overwhelmingly. As a result, the process was shamelessly tainted, an election in name only.
Voter disenfranchisement was widespread. Polls opened late and closed early. Ballot box stuffing was rampant. Voters faced intimidation and violence, and the electoral lineup had no legitimacy, excluding peoples’ choice candidates, except for perhaps Ceant.
On December 8, Al Jazeera headlined, “Haiti set for election run-off,” saying:
According to (CEP’s announced) results, Manigiat won 31 per cent of the vote and Celestin 22 per cent.
Protests and sporadic gunfire erupted. “Much of the concern centered around conflicts between the announced results and those reported (earlier) by the National Observation Council, a local election monitoring group financed by the European Union, which said that Celestin would be eliminated.”
Haitians despise him. In a free and fair process, he’d have gotten well below 10%, not the announced 22%, possible only by widespread ballot box stuffing. As a result, daily street protests followed the November vote. Thousands of Haitians clashed with police, denouncing the sham process, demanding new elections, yelling “Arrest Preval,” and accusing him and Celestin of electoral theft.
On December 20, final results will be announced. A presidential runoff is provisionally scheduled on January 16, confirmation awaiting CEP word.
A Final Comment
Following CEP’s announced results, a US embassy press release said the following:
As Haiti enters the period of electoral contestation, it is essential that all political actors remain calm and encourage their supporters to do the same…. Haiti’s transition to democracy over the past 24 years has seen many successes, overcoming major challenges. The 2010 elections represent a critical test of whether the Haitian people will determine their destiny through their vote. The United States is committed to the consolidation of democracy in Haiti and calls on the Government of Haiti, the CEP and all political forces to ensure that the will of the people is fully reflected in the outcome of this election.
The statement is self-explanatory, an imperial master’s words to its subjects, establishing despotism masquerading as “democracy.” As a result, Haitians get theater, not real elections, imperial rule, not of, by, and for the people, hardline take-it-or-leave it tyranny. Its master’s voice has spoken. It remains now how they’ll react longer term for government representing them, no longer for wealth and power.