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#3380: Call for Observers (fwd)




From: Moira Feeney <moira@globalexchange.org>

Ayiti 2000:
Coalition for Independent International Observers

April 24, 2000

Dear Friends,

 In light of the potentially exclusive elections scheduled for May 21,
2000 we are sending out an urgent call for independent international
observers to join us at polling sites across Haiti.  Haiti is facing a
critical moment in its history as its population continues to struggle
for participatory democracy.  These elections will have an especially
significant impact on Haitiís internal political situation as well as
its relationship with the international community.  In light of an
already weak international presence during these elections due to OAS
budget restrictions and recent cuts to the UN mission, please join us in
providing independent international observation on election day in
Haiti.

After local and parliamentary elections were postponed for a sixth time,
the Quixote Center and Global Exchange collaborated to send a small
fact-finding delegation to Haiti in order to investigate the electoral
process and voter registration. We were alarmed to learn of large
segments of the population unable to register to vote and extensive
reports or corruption and incompetence in the voter registration and
election planning process.

The CEP (Conseil Electorale Provisoire) and IFES, the USAID funded
agency providing technical assistance for Haitiís elections, claim they
have successfully registered as much as 96% of eligible voters.  Leaders
in the peasant and women's movements, human rights organizations,
political parties, religious leaders and residents of popular urban
areas such as City Soleil stress that these figures are largely over
estimated and are without credibility.  These groups fear that the
upcoming elections could will be exclusionary and the results will not
reflect the will of the Haitian people.

Recalling the important role played by international observers during the
elections of 1990 and 1995, many of the individuals and organizations
that we met with in Haiti expressed to us their grave concern about the
need for international solidarity during this crucial period.

Please consider joining the Coalition of Independent International
Observers, coordinated by Moira Feeney of Global Exchange and Melinda
Miles at Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center. Observers will be responsible for
their own travel expenses and lodging costs in Haiti.  If you cannot
travel to Haiti please consider making a donation to help defray the
costs of another observer.

For more information, contact Moira at: (415)255-7296, x226 or via email
at moira@globalexchange.org, or Melinda at: (301)699-0042 or via email
at haiti@quixote.org.

Please join us in international solidarity with the people of Haiti as
they struggle to build a true democracy!

For the Coalition of Independent International Observers,

Melinda Miles, Coordinator
Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center

Jennifer Harbury   
Human Rights Attorney

Moira Feeney
Global Exchange