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#4722: Re: #4680: On: memo #4651 and previous (fwd)


    This is a response to Mr. Barthelemy's posting regarding the independence 
of the CEP (Conseil Electoral Permanent).  The party in power wants us to 
believe that the reason they cannot and will not intervene in the current 
situation is because of the independence of the CEP.  Mr. Barthelemy, 
apparently in good faith, seems to believe this assumption.
    It is true that according to the constitution of 87, the CEP is an 
independent entity, but in reality, the current CEP may be independently 
    The constitution wants the CEP to be the result of a compromise between 
the 3 branches of government (executive, judiciary, legislative).  Each 
branch nominates 3 members chosen from a pool of 27 candidates selected by 
the different local representatives (casec , etc.).  The permanent council is 
renewed by one third every 3 years (1 member per branch from a total pool of 
    The following observations are to be made about the current CEP:
    -The P stands now for Provisoire (provisional)  because we have not had a 
permanent council since the current constitution was ratified by the 
electorate in 87.
    -If we look at the composition of the CEP, all the members are  Lavalas 
or have strong Lavalas leanings.  The dissenting members (three of them) have 
left before the results of the May 21 elections were promulgated.  It is to 
be mentioned that those members were the only ones chosen by the so-called 
opposition, which is no more than factions of the coalition that brought 
former president Aristide to power in 1990.  The new members were nominated 
by the executive branch alone before June 9, 2000.
    I do not think the current CEP is independent.  I agree that the 
constitution intended for it to be independent, from the selection process to 
the fact that no oversight was provided to control this body, but in reality, 
the proper procedures were not respected and the successive governments since 
87 have merely made political deals to create the appearance of normalcy.
    The Haitian saying: Konstitisyon se papye, bayonet se fe (Constitution is 
paper, bayonet is steel) is alive and well in Haiti.  This simply means that 
the best laws are meaningless if not enforced.
    I hope Mr. Barthelemy does not take this personally, it is only a 
respectful disagreement on the meaning of P.