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#4549: OAS on its Withdrawal fron Haiti's Elections (fwd)




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

	   Organization of American States
	Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti
		PRESS RELEASE
		Informal Translation

Port-au-Prince July 7, 2000 As announced previously, the
OAS Electoral Observation Mission has determined that
according to the provisions of Haitiís own electoral
legislation, the final results for the Senate elections as
proclaimed by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) are
incorrect, and the Mission cannot consider them either
accurate or fair.  As a result, the Mission announces that it
will not observe the second round of the electoral process
scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 9th.

The Mission believes that the methodology used by the
Provisional Electoral Council to calculate percentages for
the Senate races violates both the Constitution of Haiti and
its Electoral Law.  Both clearly state that in order to be
elected in the first round, a candidate for the Senate must
obtain the absolute majority of all valid votes.The respect of
the Constitution and the Electoral Law by the public
institution responsible for the organization and verification of
elections is a fundamental condition of the rule of law and
the foundation for a valid electoral process.The final
percentages proclaimed by the CEP constitute a serious
error that could and should have been corrected.

As it is already known, the OAS Electoral Mission sent a
letter to the President of the CEP several weeks ago in
which this error was brought to the Electoral Councilís
attention.  Several political parties, civil society
representatives and members of the international
community also identified the same mistake. In addition,
according to his declaration of June 21, the President of the
CEP, Lťon Manus, felt compelled to abandon his post and
leave the country after refusing to endorse the false
calculations.

The Mission deplores that the highest electoral authority has
continued to affirm the results distorted by a methodology
contrary to Haitiís own laws and to international standards of
equity and transparency.  The Mission emphasizes that this
method excludes a significant part of the Haitian population
and violates the principle of one person, one vote. The
Mission considers that the results are biased and had a
major impact on the number of senatorial candidates
elected in the first round, and thus cannot be the basis for a
credible and fair electoral process.

Since May 21, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission has
been witness to an electoral process that has become
increasingly flawed by irregularities such as the inaccurate
transmission of results, the arbitrary treatment of challenges
filed by candidates and political parties and the irregular
conduct of partial elections in some regions. As is
customary, the Mission will present its detailed observations
in a report to be presented to the Secretary General and to
the Permanent Council of the OAS.

Despite the efforts of various sectors of Haitian society and
the CARICOM member States, an acceptable solution to
the electoral crisis could not be found. As a result, the
Mission regretfully announces the suspension of all its
observation activities for the second round.

For further information, please contact the Missionís press
officer, Ms. Hannah Taylor, at 511-5690 or 403-0219.