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#4394: A response to Carey's comments on Pierre's comment on the elections (fwd)


Professor Carey,

No one here is advocating, not to follow the electoral law. What I have said is very basic and deals with the facts. This procedure for a second round had never been used before and for good cause.

In Haiti, you can easily find ten candidates for one seat in the Parliament, of which only four are truly viable. The remaining six candidates are nothing but spoil. When you're dealing with a country that is as poor as mine, you may be inclined to be practical. Here is how I understand the logic.

The previous Electoral Councils may have been inclined to, rather than forcing someone to go for a second round and spend money that s/he may not have, declare such person the winner. 

Also, the gap between the front runner and the person in second place may be so wide, that it becomes virtually certain that the front runner would still win. Hence, they declare him/her the winner. You would not be incorrect in disagreeing with that logic, considering your previous post Saturday on that issue regarding the last presidential elections in Romania.

Secondly my question to you would be, was that issue debated prior to having the elections? Did everyone agree that they would follow the precedent (i.e. what was done in 1990 and 1995), or were they to follow the presciptions of the electoral law? I am under the impression here, that they were to follow the precedent (i.e. 1990 and 1995). The CEP president himself, Léon Manus, at first disagreed with the suggestions of the OAS and basically argued publicly along the same line that I am using here. He talked first of all about "ingérence", and then disagreed with the OAS argument. We all know now that he is resting in the United States after having once again publicly, rejected his own argument.

You seem also to imply that there was widespread fraud during these elections, when various news reports and agencies suggest otherwise. Must it be then, that if Lavalas wins, that means there was fraud?

You've also indicated that in a democracy, the winners do not win everything, and that the losers do not lose everything. You are correct here. This is why, based on the elections report that I have read, OPL won a couple seats in the lower chambers, so did MOCHRENA and some other minor parties that are ahead of Lavalas in some regions of the country, for the second round. Overall and probably to your dismay, the opposition lost because Lavalas focused on the more pressing issues, rather than personalities. As painful as it may be to many to admit, this huge Lavalas victory is due to the opposition's weaknesses, and to the Lavalas grassroot work with the whole population, not because of fraud. In fact, in regions where Lavalas did not do its grassroot work, it lost. There is indeed a region (I believe it is in the Northern part of Haiti) where Lavalas practically lost everything to MOP. They (MOP) are very strong there because they do their homework. And so they won.

I think it is fair to say, that there is a high probability that Lavalas will have to go to a second round with many of its Senator-elects. The pressure is mounting and seem to only be growing. But I guarantee you that if they do, they will in all likelihood win most, if not all of those Senate seats they had already won in the first round. I am sure the opposition whereever it is, will once again talk of fraud by Lavalas.

Hyppolite Pierre