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5523: Re: Miami Herald - Kurzban on Haiti's Elections : a response

From: Haitian Times <publisher@flashcom.net>

The difference Mr. Kurzban is that both Democrats and Republicans agreed to
some sort of a recount, although there is a legal battle. In Haiti, Lavalas
refused outright any thought of a recount. I believe that had they agreed to
a recount, they would have still won the electitons. So why didn't they? As
their lawyer and political strategist, you should have advised them better.
If you did and they didn't listen, then you should have resigned. The mess
that was created as a result of stuborness, has been catastrophic. There
used to be a time when I was excited by these political wranglings and kept
abreast with every morcel of development. Then, I was a corporate reporter.
Now as a struggling entrepreuneur, I'm deeply pissed. This election mess has
caused us about $40,000 in revenues, from Haitian companies who were ready
to place ads with us. And with this uncertaintly, naturally they've pulled
out. Businesses are closing their doors fast and I'm not sure if any of the
Lavalas advisers, be it foreign or locals are telling them these things.
These are tangible and destructive consequences. It's great to read
passionate defense of the Haiti's electoral process as the country continues
its descent into the abyss.


garry pierre-pierre


garry pierre-pierre
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Corbett" <corbetre@webster.edu>
To: "Haiti mailing list" <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2000 7:42 PM
Subject: 5513: Miami Herald - Kurzban on Haiti's Elections (fwd)

> From: John Kozyn <jckozyn@hotmail.com>
> Published Thursday, November 16, 2000, in the Miami Herald
> [Op-ed]
> By Ira J. Kurzban
> Fairness in Haiti's elections
> On Nov. 26 Haitians will vote in a free and fair democratic election for
> their next president. They are likely to vote in a far greater percentage
> than in the United States, where only some 50 percent of the electorate
> turned out.
> In Haiti, however, the large turnout will be due to one person: former
> President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since the main opposition parties,
> acknowledging his popularity, refused to field candidates, Aristide faces
> four relatively unknown challengers. Even so, no one seriously suggests
> any major-party candidate could come close to Aristide.
> Similarly, in May millions of Haitians went to vote for local, state and
> national representatives. Thousands of candidates ran for more than 1,500
> positions. International observers verified that the voting was free,
> open and peaceful. Family Lavalas, Aristide's party, won overwhelming
> victories at virtually every level.
> Afterward, a dispute arose about the counting methodology for 10 senate
> seats. Haiti's constitution provides for a central electoral commission,
> CEP, to resolve disputes. And due to U.S. pressure, no CEP member came
> Family Lavalas.
> The CEP quickly and appropriately determined that a run off was
> relying on a methodology used in the 1990 election when the CEP was
> by United Nations experts. The result was that 10 members of Family
> won the disputed Senate seats.
> Since then, U.S. officials and Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., have
> the Haitian election as fraudulent. The irony is obvious.
> Without a CEP, the United States now is in a heated battle for the
> presidency. But no one in the international community has questioned the
> election of Sens. Hillary Clinton or Bill Nelson or suggested that the
> entire U.S. election is fraudulent.
> Yet the United States and members of the Organization of American States
> have demanded that Haiti's government change the CEP, redo Senate
> put off the presidential vote until stronger candidates can run, or leave
> some seats to the opposition by not fielding candidates.
> Imagine if the same demands were now made on the United States: Americans
> being told that Democrats must be given more seats in the House if Bush
> the presidency, or that Republicans be given more seats in the Senate if
> Gore is to be ``allowed'' to win. Or, that we must redo our presidential
> election. What would U.S. officials and Helms say?
> The recent U.S. presidential election shows conclusively that we have no
> business telling other countries how to resolve lawful but disputed
> elections. Hopefully, the difficulties we now face as a result of our
> disputed elections will trigger greater patience and respect for the
> decisions of Haiti and other countries, even if we are unhappy with the
> result.
> (Ira Kurzban is Haiti's general counsel in the United States. He has been
> advisor to Haitian presidents Jean-Bertrand Aristide and René Preval.)
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