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#4930: Invitation to Observe Presidential Elections (fwd)




From: Haiti Reborn <haiti@quixote.org>

August 23, 2000

Dear Friends of Haiti,

 The International Coalition for Independent Observers (ICIO) invites
you to join us in supporting the people of Haitiís ongoing struggle for
democracy by applying to participate in our upcoming election
observation delegation.  As in past Haitian elections, Global Exchange,
the Quixote Center, Witness for Peace and Pax Christi are working in
collaboration to provide independent observing and reporting.  It is
vital to the democratic process in Haiti that truly non-governmental and
impartial observers are present for the presidential elections. Please
consider joining our team of civic leaders, academic experts and
experienced election monitors when we travel to Haiti for this fallís
presidential elections.

 The ICIO observed on May 21, 2000 as millions of Haitian voters made an
historic step toward democracy through their mass participation in
legislative elections.  As you know, even with a 60% voter participation
rate and very clear results, members of the international community,
particularly the US government and the OAS, have called the legitimacy
of this vote into question. This has created serious setbacks to the
burgeoning democratic process in Haiti.

 The presidential elections promise to be even more contentious for the
international community, and questions have already been raised about
Haiti's ability to hold these elections in an acceptably free and fair
manner. There is an absolute necessity for independent international
observation of the presidential elections.  Our presence is critical for
supporting the basic rights of the Haitian people to determine their
political leadership, and our voices will be vital in bearing witness to
what really takes place during these elections.

 The date for the presidential elections has been set for November 26,
2000.  The delegation will gather in Port au Prince on Tuesday, November
21 and depart November 30.  Hopefully the date of the elections will not
change, however, experience tells us that anything is possible.  In the
event of a change in dates, we will inform participants immediately and
all work together to remain as flexible as possible.

 The cost of the delegation will be $1400.  This includes all in-country
transportation, lodging, 2 meals a day and translation.  In addition,
pre-trip materials and in-country training will be provided, and
meetings with different individuals and organizations involved in the
electoral process in Haiti are part of the itinerary. All observers will
be accredited with the current electoral council.

 For an application please contact Moira Feeney, Global Exchange, (415)
255-7296 ext. 226, or via email at moira@globalexchange.org. The
application should be returned to Global Exchange, 2017 Mission Street,
Suite 303, San Francisco, CA 94110.   We strongly encourage individuals
of diverse backgrounds with Haiti or election monitoring experience to
apply.  In addition, a limited number of partial scholarships are
available for low-income applicants.  More information about the
election observation can be accessed at: www.globalexchange.org or
www.quixote.org/haiti.

 Please consider taking part in this historical event, and standing in
solidarity to bear witness to the will of the Haitian people!

For a more just world,
Moira Feeney, Global Exchange
Melinda Miles, Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center