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#3582: National Television quesitons the CEP-CNO agreement (fwd)
Points aired on National Television of Haiti:
On Friday Feb 25, 2000 the President of the CEP, Mr. Leon Manus, unilaterally
signed a Protocol of Accord with Mr. Leopold Berlanger who is the General
Coordinator of the CNO (the National Council of Observers).
What is the constitutional basis for establishing the CNO as an institution?
Is it just a political instrument for the time as it is only now that the CEP
is discussing the creation of the CNO?
In examining the question of the legitimacy of the Protocol of Accord, we
must look at Articles 110 and 106 - paragraph 2 of the 1995 Electoral Law as
well as Articles 171, 172, 173 and 174 of the 1999 Electoral law.
Article 3, Second Chapter provides the internal rules that define the limits
of each member of the CEP. Chapter 2, in its second point clearly states
that the president of the CEP does not have the right to unilaterally give
his signature. For example, all CEP correspondence, is to be co-signed by the
president and the General Secretary. And the president is required to make
a weekly report to the other members of the CEP. Secondly, he is required to
co-sign checks with the Treasurer under the name of the CEP. The CEP
president is also required to co-sign anything coming from its commission
that is charged with employing CEP personnel. And, all decisions relating to
their hiring and firing is decided by a meeting of all the members of the
Don't you think it is important for the country to question under what
article of the Constitution or the electoral law or the internal regulations
of the CEP does CEP president Manus have the right to sign a protocol of
accord with coordinator Leopold Berlanger. Yet, Berlanger states that he
thinks it is legitimate and that there is no contradiction between the
signing of the accord and the electoral law.
On the other hand, in Chapter 11, Article 173 of the Electoral Law it is
clear on two points regarding the Mission of the Haitian Electoral Observers.
First, in all instances it should look to the CEP for information regarding
the electoral process and secondly, it should record and report all
irregularities it observes to the CEP.
However, the protocol the CEP president signed with the coordinator of the
CNO in its Chapter 4, 1st paragraph, gives the CNO the mission of obtaining
from the heads of the BIV or BED or BEC the original or a copy of the general
results. The second paragraph states that if there is no original then the
CNO can make their own written report and the members of that voting office
and the representatives of the CNO can co-sign the results together.
To look further into the question of the validity of this protocol of accord,
one can read Article 158 of the Electoral Law which states that after the
written report and the tallying is complete, the members of the BIV, the
representatives of the political parties or the groups or political groups,
officially recognized, representatives of cartels or candidates, should sign
the written report.
Nowhere in the electoral laws does it say that observers can make together or
sign such a report. Do we not have a contradiction here? Only the two
people signing this contract have the answer.
It is important to highlight for the nine members of the CEP, that the
Constitution and the 1999 Electoral Law recognizes only the CEP as the judge
of the electoral process. Point number two of the protocol between the CEP
and the CNO says clearly that it is the CEP who must swiftly collect and
disseminate all information and all documents coming out of the elections.
Does this mean that the CNO is higher than the CEP? Is this a contradiction
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