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#3938: Ramifications of elections: Chamberlain comments on Pina (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Whoa Neddy !

Kevin writes that:

> ...the parliamentary elections of 1997, in which Lavalas won a 
> clear majority, only to have them annulled following 
> charges of fraud, led by the likes of the International Republican..."

Don't be tricky, trying to pretend the 1997 elections were the same as
the recent ones.  In 1997, only _one third_ of the senate seats (nine 
out of 27) and _two_ of the 83 seats in the chamber of deputies were 
in contention.  That's only 30% of the senate and less than 3% of the 
lower house.  (The recent elections were for 100% of the chamber of 
deputies and 67% of the senate).

The turnout in 1997, everyone agrees, was less than 10%.  At last week's 
election, it seems to have been 60%.  In the case of 1997, after two years 
of arsing about, a special investigatory commission reluctantly set up by 
Préval fearfully fudged the issue of the fraud committed by all sides and 
declared the election null on a technicality..

This was the election that Lavalas, which said it won just two of the nine 
senate seats and one of the two deputy's seats, trumpeted for two years 
as a famous, democratic, heroic etc. victory, before quietly dropping 
the whole issue a few months ago.

Let's remember that when Manigat got himself elected president in 1988
(after a dirty deal with the army) on about the same under-10% turnout as
the 1997 Lavalas "victory," Haiti Progrès (today Aristide and Lavalas' 
most fervent apologists) understandably sneered at the pitiable 
showing.  But in 1997, the same negligible turnout was suddenly
the most legal and democratic thing in the world...

Kevin further says:

> As Haiti approaches the final tally of the ballots in this latest round
> "US sponsored" elections..."

So why did Aristide agree to participate if he knew beforehand it was so
tainted, and er... how did he win if, as Kevin wants us to believe, 
the embassy, CIA, IFES stitched it up by their sponsorship and with their 
supposed dubious practices... ?  Can one have it both ways?  I fear not.

Kevin writes: 

> On May 17th, less than one week before Haiti's scheduled election, the 
> Haitian National Police issued an "arrest on sight" for Garrison on
> of "activities suspected of being destabilizing to democratic order."  
As one 
> could have guessed, no mention was ever made of this in the international


Is Kevin saying the media deliberately ignored this?  Did he bring it to
attention of Jennifer Bauduy or Mike Norton?  If so, what were their
If he didn't, why not, since he seems to have had the inside track on this
(and doesn't have to compete with those two people as a journalist) ?  If
it was
so urgent, one would have thought he might've, unless he wanted to set the
pair up as "lackeys of (insert usual range of devils)."

But maybe I'm wrong and he did do his best to bring this news to the
of the general public in Haiti and abroad.  Kevin?

        Greg Chamberlain