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#138: CIP's Partial Translation of the Lissade Report (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>

Complete report can be seen at CIP's site at:


Presidential Commission in Support of the Provisional Electoral Council 



AD	 : Assemblée Départementale, 

AM 	: Assemblée Municipale 

ASEC	 : Assemblée de la Section Communale 

BEC	 : Bureau Electoral Communal 

BED	 : Bureau Electoral Départemental 

BIV	 : Bureau d' Inscription de Vote 

BV	 : Bureau de Vote 

CASEC 	: Conseil d'Administration de la Section Communale 

CD	 : Conseil Départemental 

CEP	 : Conseil Electoral Provisoire 

CID	 : Conseil Interdépartemental 

COREGA  	: Coordination de Résistance de la Grand'Anse 

DV 	: Délégué de Ville 

IFES 	: Fondation Internationale pour les Systèmes Electoraux 

IRI 	: Institut Républicain International 

MICIVIH 	: Mission Civile Internationale en Haïti 

MOE / OEA: Mission d'Observation Electorale de l'Organisation des Etats 


NDI	 : Institut National Démocratique 

OPL	 : Organisation du Peuple en Lutte ci-devant Organisation Politique 


PLB 	: Pati Louvri Baryè 

SOPA	 : Solidarité Peyzan Ayisyen 

USCE 	: Unité de Surveillance et de Contrôle Electoral 


A- Introduction 

B- The electoral process in 1997. 

C- Observations of the Presidential Commission in Support of the CEP 

D- Exercise of power by the electoral council 

E- Conclusions et recommendations. 


By a decree on October 29, 1997 published in the Moniteur on Thursday, 
October 30, 1997 your excellency created a Commission in Support of the 
Provisional Electoral Council. You assigned it a number of 

?To give a legal opinion #) on the ongoing electoral process. 
?To make appropriate suggestions for organizing and carrying out free 
and democratic elections on the dates set by the CEP. 

In carrying out these tasks the commission invited the political 
parties, candidates, and organizations interested in the elections to 
meet for an exchange of views and opinions on the elections of April 6, 
1997. Certain of them did respond positively to this invitation and 
have, besides making presentations, sent files and documents that the 
commission has carefully examined and used to advantage. The commission 
takes this occasion to thank all these important contributors to its 
work. We especially wish to acknowledge the International Foundation for 
Electoral Systems (IFES), the International Republican Institute (IRI), 
and the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American 
States (MOE). 

Before beginning the analysis of the complex problems of the 
organization and execution of the electoral process two remarks may be 

The first is that the recommendations here are strictly limited to an 
evaluation of the electoral process and its results. The first goal of 
the commission, which this text is consistent with, is to do a complete 
examination of the challenges and disputes arising from the election to 
determine whether they conform to the procedures set in the electoral 
law and then verify the treatment of them by the CEP. 

#) See the Moniteur, no. 89, November 13, 1997 (the official gazette of 
the republic of Haiti). 


In this regard the contribution this commission makes is quite limited. 
It only takes into account the legal aspects of the decisions taken or 
not taken by the CEP. 

The second remark that needs to be made in this introduction is 
cautionary. The electoral law sets the standards of conduct not only for 
the electoral apparatus but also for the political parties, independent 
candidates, electoral slates and the electorate as a whole. We ought not 
consider this report a facile response to each and everyone's problem. 
The task of the commission is more to formulate recommendations for the 
future electoral process as a whole. 

On the other hand the commission is convinced that its recommendations 
can clear up certain misunderstandings and considerably clarify certain 
clauses of the present electoral law, thus assisting political 
decision-makers in the current difficult context. 

Clearly one cannot grasp the whole complexity and dynamics of the 
electoral process, with all its forces and tension, without looking at 
the context in which it unfolded after the publication of the decree of 
January 21, 1997 calling the people to elections and up to the 
appointment of this presidential commission in support of the 
Provisional Electoral Council on October 29 of the same year. 

After this brief overview of the elections context the commission will 
make its observations and reflections on the organization and execution 
of the process including an evaluation of the complaints and disputes 
and the announcement of the results, all from a legal point of view. We 
will then offer an overall conclusion and recommendations. 


By the decree of January 21, 1997 published in the Moniteur no. 6 on 
January 23: 

1-The primary assemblies (Assemblées Primaires) were called to elect:: 

a) Five hundred sixty-four (564) communal-section assemblies (Assemblées 
de Section Communale, ASEC) and one hundred thirty-three (133) groups of 
city delegates (groupes de délégués de ville--DV) . 

b) Nine members of the senate--one senator per department. 

c) One deputy for the district of Port-Salut and one for la Plaine du 

2.- The indirect electoral assemblies (Assemblées électorales 
indirectes) were called to elect: 

a) One hundred thirty-three municipal assemblies (Assemblées 
Municipales) and nine departmental assemblies (Assemblées Dé

b) Nine departmental councils (Conseils Départementaux) and one 
interdepartmental council (Conseil Interdépartemental). 

These elections, set for April 6, 1997, were to be carried out in 
conformity with the electoral law of February, 1995. 

The new Provisional Electoral Council, installed in November, 1996, had 
immediately begun to prepare for the elections. It began with a press 
conference on December 9; on December 22 it began organizing the 
training of the members of 133 communal electoral bureaus (BECs) in each 
of the republic's communes. 

In the middle of January 1997 new voter registration was begun. They 
included youths attaining the age of 18 since the last elections and 
voters with lost or damaged electoral cards. The new registrations 
entailed a revision of the electoral rolls of 1995. 

The candidate nominations began at the end of January, i.e., after three 
weeks. A number of political parties boycotted the elections and did not 
offer candidates. The following week was devoted to receiving and 
reviewing challenges to the candidacies. 

The final list of candidates was made public and the campaign began at 
the end of February, to continue until April 4. There were no problems 
in this process. 

In the opinion of the international observers there was no major trouble 
during the day of April 6. The voting took place with calm, except for a 
few attemps here and there to tamper with the vote or intimidate 
electoral personnel, and some arrests of people attempting to vote 
fraudulently. The level of participation was low, in particular in the 
urban centers. Certain voters had trouble finding their polling places, 
or, if they found them, there name was not on the roll. 

In the evening the tallying of the vote took place in general without 
trouble except for some small and isolated incidents caused by the 
protests of party representatives citing discrepancies between the 
number of voters and the votes recorded. 

The electoral challenges began the next day, directed both at the 
departmental councils and the CEP in all nine departments, questioning 
senatorial, town, and ASEC elections. A significant number of challenges 
were mounted. The main ones, organized below as illustrative cases, are 
grouped as: stuffing the ballot box, falsification of the returns, 
missing returns, more than one vote per voter, exclusion of party 
representatives from the polling sites, electoral corruption, use of 
fake electoral cards, intimidation of voters and candidates, illegal 
electioneering, theft of ballot boxes or returns, intrusion of armed 
persons into the polling places, unpublicized relocation of the polling 
places, incomplete voter rolls, abuse of power by the electoral 
authorities, obstacles to voter registration. 

Ballot-box stuffing 

Department of the South: 

1) Ballot-box stuffing before the opening of voting in the commune of 
Anglais (BIV of Galètes Sèche). 

Polling places of Damassin and des Côteaux: armed men dressed in black 
stuffed the ballot box with at least 1,500 ballots that they got from 
the wife of a policeman. 

Department of the West 

3 ) In Delmas, the head of one polling place altered the returns in 
favor of one slate of candidates. 

4) In Fonds-Verrettes, voters threw bunches of fifteen or twenty ballots 
into the ballot boxes. 

Department of the Southeast 

5) In polling place number 1 in Adieu-au-Monde, 161 votes were recorded 
in favor of a Lavalas candidate although after the hurricane no 
registered voters remained in this district. In voting place no. 161, 
where no one had voted, 250 votes were recorded for this candidate. 

6) In the sixth section of Jacmel the head of the polling place of Kava 
was caught stuffing the ballot boxes in favor of the candidates of Fanmi 

7) In the polling place of Kaskaré (La Montagne), even though no more 
than thirty people voted the winning candidate claimed more than two 
hundred votes. 

Grand'Anse : 

8) In Dame-Marie and Anse-d'Hainault armed men took advantage of the 
absence of party representatives to stuff the ballot boxes. 

9) In Beaumont, the members of certain polling places stuffed the ballot 
boxes to favor one candidate. 

Department of the North 

10) In Milot, member of OPL deposited ballots in the ballot box of a 
polling place after marking them with an X. 

11) In la Plaine du Nord, the member of a polling place stuffed the 
ballot boxes to favor one candidate. 

12) In Cap-Haïtien, the leaders of one party were seen stuffing ballot 
boxes with hundreds of ballots. 

13) In Limbé, a group of fifteen men stuffed the ballot boxes. 

Central Department 

14) At the polls in Grand-Boucan (Mirebalais), the number of voters 
increased from 38 at 5 p.m to 266 by 6 p.m. At other polls 58 voters 
were counted over four hours, but at closing the vote was 296 in favor 
of one candidate. 

In the section of Crête Brùlée (Mirebalais), there were 62 votes 
recorded by 5:30 p.m., but according to the returns there were 280 votes 
by 6 p.m., or 218 votes in 30 minutes. 

In the first section of Belladères, eight voters voted in one polling 
place, but at closing time the OPL candidate had got 168 votes. At 
another poll 66 persons voted but the returns showed 179. 

Falsification of the returns 

Department of the South 

1) The returns from polling site no. 56 in "La Colline" d'Aquin: the 
number given for the number of ballots received did not match the total 
number of votes including those marked with an X, the blank votes, and 
the unmarked ones. 

2) The same for polling site 14-A in Cayes. 

Department of the West 

3) In Cité Soleil, those in charge of the polls changed the results 
before sending them to the communal office. 

4) In Delmas the slate of town delegation no. 8 got 193 votes by faking 
the returns. 

Artibonite : 

5) The vice-président of the communal electoral office (BEC) Saint-Marc 
was seen in Estère falsifying the election results. 

6) In Desdunes, armed men in favor of senate candidates forced those in 
charge of the polls to falsify the returns in favor of their candidates. 

Grand'Anse : 

7) According to the returns that one challenger of the results had, the 
Corega candidate got 83 votes but the communal elections office gave him 
283 votes, and another 125 votes obtained were changed into 225. 


8) In Trois Palmistes (Vallières), the head of a pollsite was caught 
falsifying the returns. 


9) Thehead of the communal election office (BEC) in Môle Saint-Nicolas 
was accused of changing the returns of a polling place in Mare-Rouge. 


Missing returns 

Artibonite : 

1) A first review said there were 73 returns for 87 polling sites in 

2) In one section of Marchand-Dessalines, six returns were missing. 

3) In Grande Desdunes, the returns from nine polling places were 

4) Two returns were missing from the sixth section of Gonaïves and three 
from the fifth section. 

5) In Anse-Rouge, eleven returns were missing, with no explanation. 

Department of the North 

In the third section of Ranquitte, three returns were received from four 
polling sites. 

More than one vote per voter 

Department of the South 

1 ) The members of the polls in de Bercy (Cavaillon) were ordered by the 
president of the CASEC to let people vote eight or ten times. 

Department of the West 

2) In Delmas, the voters voted six or seven times at the same polling 

3) In Fonds-Verrettes, a small group of people voted in all the polling 
places under different names. 

Artibonite : 

4) In Petite Desdunes, a former candidate to the Lower House marked the 
ballots in favor of a candidate to the senate of the Lavalas Family 

Department of the North 

A party representative of Lafanmi Lavalas was caught voting with a bunch 
of ballots, was arrested but then released by order of the president and 
secretary of the communal electoral office (BEC). 

Department of the Northeast 

6) In Vallières, the voter rolls common to many polling sites allowed 
voters to vote many times. 

Central Department 

Centre : 

7) In Hinche, a voter was caught voting in many polling sites. 

Exclusion of party representatives from the polling sites 

Department of the West 

1 ) In Delmas, the top delegate of slate no. 1 and his partisans came 
into the polling sites and chased the PLB party representatives away. 

2) A party representative of the town-delegate Fanmi Lavalas slate was 
chased out of one polling site in Carrefour. 

3} In Fonds-Verrettes, those in charge of the polls forbade the 
candadates' party representatives from entering the polling sites in 
order to make it easier to stuff the ballot boxes. 

Department of the Southeast 

4) In Belle-Anse, party representatives and U.S.C.E. members were barred 
from the polls. 

Artibonite : 

5) In Grande Saline, the police chased the party representatives of 
other candidates out of the polls so that they could mark the ballots in 
favor of a Fanmi Lavalas senate candidate. 

Grand'Anse : 

6) Armed men made the party representatives of one senate candidate in 
Dame-Marie leave the polls. 

A vice-delegate in Beaumont threatened a candidate's representatives 
with his gun and made them leave the polling-sites. 


Department of the North : 

7) A bunch of fifteen men chased OPL's representatives from the polling 

Electoral Corruption. 

Department of the South : 

1) Torbeck's mayor distributed 500 voters' IDs to peasants and paid them 
one dollar each to vote for the Fanmi candidate. 

2) The head of the communal election office (BEC) of les Anglais 
threatened the polling sites' personnel, saying that he wouldn't pay his 
taxes if the Fanmi candidate didn't win. 

Artibonite : 

3) At Grande Saline, some Fanmi and OPL supporters were paying for votes 
for their candidates. 

Department of the Northeast : 

4) The head of the communal election office of Ouanaminthe was accused 
of giving IDs and money to voters so they would vote for his friends' 

5) The head of a departmental election office (BED) allegedly promised 
to elect a CEP consultant to a post in the departmental assembly (A.D.) 
if the consultant would let him stay in office. 

Use of fake voters' IDs 

Department of the South 

1 ) The Fanmi Lavalas candidate bought 3,000 voters' IDs and gave them 
out to some peasants from Torbeck and Saint-Jean to vote in Port-Salut. 

2) The head of the communal electoral office of Torbeck allegedly 
prepared voters' IDs in the names of nonexistent people to favor certain 

Department of the West 

3) In Delmas, personnel of the polls allowed people to vote with IDs 
that didn't belong to them. 

Department of the Southeast 

The head of the polls in Douré (Bainet) kept voters' IDs after they 
voted and, after erasing the name, it to another person who used it to 
vote again. 

Artibonite : 

5) The day before the election about three thousand voters' IDs were 
found in the possession of a party representative of a Fanmi Lavalas 
senate candidate. 

Department of the North 

6) The head of the departmental election office (BEC) in Dondon was 
caught voting with an ID that didn't belong to him. 

7) In Mathador (Dondon), fifty IDs were seized from a communal election 
office employee. 

Central Department 

8) In Maïssade, a civil servant was caught with many voters' IDs. 
Thousands of IDs were given out to children who went into the polls to 

Intimidation of voters and candidates 

Department of the South 

1) Heavily-armed bands accompanying a Fanmi Lavalas senate candidate 
intimidated voters anintimidated voters and candidates, particularly 
those of the ca

Department of the West 

1) In Fonds-Verrettes, armed supporters of a candidate threatened voters 
who would not vote for their slate, the no. 2 ASEC slate. 

Grand' Anse : 

2) The vice-delegate of Corail showed up with a gun in his hand at the 
polls in 

Beaumont and ordered the head of the polling site to stuff the ballot 
box in favor of the Corega candidate. 

Department of the North 

3) At Dondon, some people threatened people with guns; the local 
inhabitants who wanted to go to the polling sites were chased away. 

4) At Limbé, some party leaders, friends of the head of the communal 
election office, threatened the other parties' representatives and the 
heads of some polling sites. 

Central Department : 

5) At Belladères, the vice-delegate and the deputy went around the city 
with arms and forced voters to vote for a certain candidate. 

Illegal electioneering. 

Department of the South : 

1) During the night before the elections, a deputy still in office 
continued electioneering, attacking the candidate LAROSILIERE. 

Department of the West : 

2) During the night before the elections, a senate candidate covered the 
walls of the city with pictures of himself. 

Artibonite : 

3) In Gonaïves, a TV channnel broadcast electioneering messages all day 
during April 6, election day. 

Department of the North : 

4) The vice-president of the communal election office in Limbé led an 
intense public campaign in favor of the Fanmi Lavalas candidate. 

Central Department : 

5) A radio station based at Hinche continued the electioneering after 
the legal end of the campaign. 


Theft of returns and ballot boxes 

Department of the South : 

1 ) At Camp-Perrin, some men in a car stole ballot boxes. 

2) At Roche-à-Bateau, the candidates of the second slate for the ASEC 
acompanied an armed group of thieves who stole the returns before the 
ballots could be counted. 

Artibonite : 

3) The coordinator of a senator's office stole the ballots from a ballot 

4) At the sixth section of Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite, some ASEC 
candidates stole the ballot boxes. 

Grand'Anse : 

5) At Anse d'Hainault and les Irois, an unidentified band of thieves 
took away the ballot-boxes. 

Department of the North : 

6) At Chabot, in communal section of Limbé, a party representative 
accompanied by a vice-president of the communal election office emptied 
out the ballot boxes and the tally sheets. 

Intrusion of armed persons into the polls 

Department of the Southeast 

1) A senate candidate accompanied by armed agents went into the polls at 
the Pinchinat high school in Jacmel, guns in hand, and made the 
electoral personnel let them vote. 

Artibonite : 

2) In Grande-Saline, well-armed men from the Lavalas Fanmi and the OPL 
circulated around the polls, brandishing their arms against one head of 
a polling site. 

3) In Petite Desdunes, a former candidate to the legislature burst into 
the polling site, revolver in hand. 

Grand'Anse : 

4) In Dame-Marie, heavily-armed men spread panic among many voting 
stations. In 

Anse-d'Hainault, other armed men broke into two polling sites and 
manhandled a city-council candidate. 

Department of the North 

5) In Limbé, a communal election office delegate and a local civil 
servant entered many polling sites with pistols. 

6) In Milot, an armed candidate harassed the polls. 

Sudden relocation of the polls 

Department of the West 

1) The BIV was relocated without apparent reason and without prior 

Department of the North 

2) The polling sites were relocated by the communal elections office of 

3) The personnel of the communal election office of Plaisance moved the 
office without notifying the population. 

4) Polling places were moved in Bois-Cadet, Tortue et Chiron. 

Central Department 

5) In Hinche, voters had trouble finding the polls or the registration 

Incomplete voters' lists 

Department of the South 

1) A number of voters with voters' IDs did not go to vote because their 
names were not on the lists displayed at the polls. 

Department of the Southeast 

2) In two polling sites of the First Section, only the Fanmi Lavalas 
supporters had their names on the registration list and the names of the 
OPL voters were missing. 

3} At the Kaskaré (La Montagne) polls, the supporters of slate no. 1 for 
the ASEC could not vote because their names were not on the registration 
list even though they had IDs issued by this polling station. 

Department of the North 

4) In Bassin-Caïman (Dondon), regular voters with their voter ID's could 
not find their name on the registration list at the polling site. 
Department of the Northeast 

5) In Ouanaminthe, the registration lists were falsified to skew the 
vote toward certain candidates. 

Abuse of power by the electoral authorities 

Department of the Southeast 

1) In Belle-Anse, the examiners from the election control office 
(U.S.C.E.) reported the dismissal of an office worker who tried to keep 
an adult from voting with the ID of a voter of sixteen years, and the 
arrest of another who refused to let a fifteen-year-old person vote. 

Department of the North 

2) The secretary of the communal election office of Pilate invalidated 
the credentials of party representatives of the PLB party and 
confiscated those of a delegate from Baudin who protested this action. 
He expelled a representative of the PLB to the electoral control office 
under the pretext that his credentials were not valid. 

3) In Bassin-Caïman (Dondon), the party representative of one slate who 
protested a fraudulent action and requested the head of the polling site 
to take necessary action was threatened with arrest. 


Placing obstacles to voter registration 


1} A senate candidate denounced the fact that voters who had abstained 
from registering in 1995 were refused in 1997 the right to exercise 
their civic duty to vote as provided in the constitution and reiterated 
in article 14 of the electoral law. 

Department of the North 

2) The electoral office in Bassin-Caiman (Dondon) prematurely closed off 

Despite the challenges enumerated above, the results were announced and 
the process pursued regardless. Two senators and one deputy were elected 
in the first round. The second round was planned for the departments 
that did not elect candidates. However, this second round was postponed
sine die. 

Following the cancellation of the election in certain areas the 
elections for city councils (DV) and the ASECs were held again on July 6 
in the Departments of the Northeast, the Artibonite, the Central 
Department, the West, and Grand'Anse. They took place in an atmosphere 
of indifference and the turnout can be characterized as insignficant. 
This was probably due to the absence of get-out-the-vote efforts and 
lack of information to the concerned population. The elections were only 
announced by the CEP five days in advance. Few challenges were recorded 
except from slates who were disqualified for failing to comply with 
certain legal requirements. 

The indirect elections were held on various dates in an atmosphere of 
challenges and lack of knowledge by the public. The members of the 
communal-section assemblies and the city-council delegates were gathered 
to elect the members of the municipal assemblies, then these members 
were convened to elect the departmental assemblies from which were 
formed the departmental councils and the interdepartmental council. This 
marks the end of the electoral process which the commission sought to 
examine with the available data, which are far from complete. This 
examination produced the following observations which are not complete. 

Observations and reflections of the commission: 

1.1 Registration lists 

Altogether, a careful review of the various reports written by Haitian 
and foreign observers on the organization and execution of the April 6, 
1997 elections, the information received from the observers, and the 
testimony of candidates and personnel of the various electoral offices 
(BIV, BEC and BED) do not permit us to say that the recent elections 
took place with transparency and perfect impartiality. 

The fact is that although it was mandatory to post the registration 
lists outside all the polling sites (10,258) throughout the country, 
this rule was not respected as fully as it should have been. 

When the lists were posted they were often incomplete and changes were 
made on them by hand without any verification. 

Furthermore, the decision to deny the right to vote to some categories 
of the population deserves criticism. 

For instance, the only people eligible to vote in these elections were 
those who had reached the age of 18 before the holding of the election, 
those who had lived abroad but had lived in Haiti for at least three 
months before the election, or those who had lost their voter's ID or 
changed their address. 

Clearly these failings plus the abstention of some parties are partly 
responsible for the low turnout in the election. These measures, 
inconsistent with the constitution, deprived a significant number of 
citizens who did not vote in 1995 of their right to register and vote in 
these elections. Not being able to vote they could not fulfill their 
duty as citizens, a situation that negatively affected the conduct of 
the elections.