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#4482: Credibility : A reply to Morse

From: SYSTEMA SYS <jpp@compa.net>

I wholeheartedly agree with Richard on this.

I was looking at press clippings from just after the 1995 elections in
Haiti, which were much worse technically than those we just had. There are
horror stories to be had but which were suppressed because the "blanc" liked
the results in 1995. Foryunately, I was a member of the only delegation ,
the CARTER CENTER that said it the way we saw it. Strangely enough, in the
middle of the night, at the rue Pavee BED HQ, where people were seen by us
marking new ballots (at 1 AM after the election). Foreign press were present
as well as OAS and even the UN head techbnical advisor to the CEP. Was
anything said ? Only the Carter Delegation and several political parties.
Again these political parties were strongly encouraged to compile details,
polling station by polling station (the only legal way to protest).

In 2000, political parties were given lists of polling stations in Excel
format to distribute to their various representatives. This had never been
donme before. More than 130,000 rep. cards were given directly to political
parties. More than 22,000 observer cards were handed out. It was not the
fault of the CEP that USAID withdrew it plan to fund observers, a plan that
had been matured since the problematic 1997 elections.

As an adivor to the Operations Manager of the CEP, I am limited in the scope
I can contribute, but I can assure all of you that internal systems were put
in place to assure a free and fair elections. Whether this or that party did
this or that is another issue.

Unfortunately I am not allowed to  professionally and fully criticize the
elections at this time. I hope to do so soon.

While this was not the only source of problems, Major mistakes were made by
IFES in counseling the CEP.  They did not want outside advice either from
the UN team (which helped tremendously in outlying areas) or from the CEP's
own technical team, made up of myself, a 25-year experience management
consultant, a former advisor to the US Embassy and USAID on elections, a
former manager of IFES' first major elections program (Haiti 1990), a former
coordinator of USAID's electoral assistance and a proud member of PIRED's
assistance to human rights and access to justice during the coup.  Other
esteemed members of the CEP technical staff were Luciano Pharaon, a former
General and  BED manager for the CEP in 1987 and 1990 elections, also a
former consultant to IFES in several other countries.

Much more could be said of the attitudes on both sides but I would be
overstepping my bounds. However, any attacks directed at me personally I am
welcome to entertain.

Best regards,


>From: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
>To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
>Subject: #4493:  Credibility : Morse comments
>Date: Sun, Jul 2, 2000, 2:20 PM

> From: oloffsonram <oloffsonram@globelsud.net>
> The International Observers have an obligation to credibility. If
> they're going around the world observing attempts at democracy, we have
> to know that their reports aren't shaded for political or diplomatic
> reasons. Their reports have to be credible. They have to say what they
> saw happen. People can then judge from the facts. You can't have an
> observer country "letting something slide" because they too have an
> upcoming election. If these world bodies; U.N., O.A.S., Caricom, don't
> have credibility, then we're wasting our time. Once credible reports
> are issued and digested, those concerned can and must make responsible
> decisions.
> Richard Morse