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6818: Leon Manus to Secretary of State Designate Colin Powell (fwd)

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

Nashua, December 27, 2000
>From Center for International Policy

General Colin Powell

Secretary of State-Designee

Bush-Cheney Transition Team

McLean, Virginia

Dear General Powell:

As the exiled President of the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council, let me
congratulate you as the 65th Secretary of State of the United States. Your
integrity, character, sense of honor, and dedication remind me and other
Haitians of our own roots, which include General Toussaint Louverture, one
of the fathers of our independence. At that time, for the black people of
Haiti, he was the savior against oppression and slavery; he was a man of
integrity, with the vision of freedom and democracy for his people. Sir, for
all the blacks of the world, you continue to carry the flag as a role model
for showing that the best is yet to come.

Almost two years ago, Haitian President Rene Preval called me out of
retirement, at age 74, to serve my country with pride, honesty and dignity.
I agreed to become the President of the Provisional Electoral Council of
Haiti, despite the obvious difficulties that lay ahead for a country coming
out of 23 months of political crisis and the fact that since 1994 both
former President Aristide and President Preval violated all the agreements
on democratization with the parties, civil society, and the international
community. During that crisis period, President Preval sought to force the
Parliament to accept the results of previous fraudulent elections and impose
a prime minister without parliamentary approval. Parliament was dissolved, a
prime minister was appointed without constitutional legitimacy, and
elections were oft-postponed and eventually were held, however fraudulently.
Political repression and assassinations were common, and regrettably, still

During the 15 months I served in office prior to fleeing the country for my
own safety, I endured the difficulties of the job, wanting only to get my
country out of the mess it was in and help it become part of the
international democratic community. Despite threats of violence,
manipulations of the ruling party, and recriminations by the opposition, we
succeeded in organizing reasonably fair elections on May 21, 2000. Turnout
was around 60 percent, extremely high by recent Haitian historical
experience. Violence was relatively minor, and for the first time since
1995, all the opposition parties and civil society fully participated.

But on election night, after the polls closed and the international
observers went home, ballots boxes were stolen and replaced with stuffed
substitute boxes. The replacement boxes were full of ballots in favor of
former President Aristide's party, Fanmi Lavalas (FL). Many members of the
police forces betrayed their mission of ensuring the security of the
electoral process, participating in fraudulent maneuvers. Overall, the night
of the elections was one of fraud, with the goal of ensuring the absolute
success of the Fanmi Lavalas party. I was summoned to the National Palace,
where both President Preval and former President Aristide threatened me with
death if I did not publish the manipulated results. I refused to commit such
infamy against the Haitian people, and with the support of the international
community, I was taken out of Haiti and into exile in the United States. At
age 76, I m learning of the difficult conditions of exile. Subsequent to my
departure, Presidents Preval and Aristide published the bogus results, which
do not reflect the will of the Haitian people. My deepest concern is that
Haiti once again has become a one-party de facto dictatorship.

In the name of my countrymen, I call on you to do all you can to help
Haitians organize free and fair local, legislative, and presidential
elections as soon as possible and with the participation of the whole of our
democratic society. Because you understand the meaning of honor, decency,
integrity, and democracy, I am confident you will hear the call of the
Haitian people. We want peace and democracy. The Haitian people deserve no
less. Thank you for your consideration. I am glad to wish you great success
as the Secretary of State of the new administration and all the best for the
year 2001 and beyond


Leon Manus

President in Exile

Provisional Electoral Council