MCC’s Perspective on Haiti’s Elections

On November 28, 2010 Haiti held its first round of presidential and legislative elections. The elections were primarily funded by the United States, the United Nations, Canada and Brazil. Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), the United Nations and OAS-CARICOM declared that the polling went “well” in spite of reports by election observers and monitors of high numbers of irregularities and fraud. Additionally, twelve of the eighteen candidates denounced the elections as fraudulent and called for annulment.

Polling data, reports published by the National Election Observation Council (CNO) as well as MCC staff and partners’ nationwide observation of ballot tabulations on Sunday, November 28th, indicated that a run-off election would occur between the two front-runners; Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly.

However, at 8:40 PM on December 7th, 2010, the CEP announced initial results to be as follows: Mirlande Manigat (RDNP): 31.37%; Jude Celestin (INITE) 22.48%; and Michel Martelly (Repons Peyizan) 21.89%, suggesting that a run-off election will take place in January between Manigat and Celestin, the incumbent party’s candidate. To the surprise and concern of many, INITE candidates were also frontrunners in the vast majority of legislative elections.

This announcement has sparked country-wide protests and demonstrations, including the burning down of INITE party headquarters, as people contest what appear to be fraudulent election results. Many in the streets are chanting, “We voted Martelly and they gave us Celestin” and calling for the elections to be annulled.

As MCC Haiti believes that these election results are in clear opposition to the will of the Haitian people, Mennonite Central Committee calls on the international community, particularly the United States, the UN, Canada and Brazil, to respect the sovereignty and will of the Haitian people by:

  • Assisting in efforts to review irregularities and fraud that may have swayed electoral results
  • Continuing to pressure the CEP and the current Haitian Government to release legitimate and transparent final election results.

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