Rep. Waters blasts Haiti's President, says upcoming election is a setback for democracy
December 23, 2009
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Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). photo ©2008 Randall White

Rep. Waters blasts Haiti's President, says upcoming election is a setback for democracy

Haiti Action.net - Port au Prince, Haiti — US Congresswoman Maxine Waters blasted Haiti President René Préval this morning in a letter condemning the recent decision of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to exclude more than a dozen political parties from the Parliamentary elections scheduled for February and March 2010.  Her letter criticizes the unconstitutional CEP — handpicked by Préval — and the violation of the right of Haitian citizens to vote in free and fair elections.

 

 

 

Congresswoman Maxine Waters' letter released this morning:

December 23, 2009

His Excellency René Préval - President of Haiti
c/o Embassy of Haiti

2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

click image below for story

Your Excellency:

I am writing to express my concerns about the decision of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to exclude more than a dozen political parties from the Parliamentary elections scheduled for February and March 2010. I am concerned that these exclusions would violate the right of Haitian citizens to vote in free and fair elections and that it would be a significant setback to Haiti’s democratic development.

As you know, I have a longstanding commitment to supporting democracy and development in Haiti. I led efforts in the United States Congress to obtain debt cancellation for Haiti. These efforts culminated in the World Bank’s announcement last June that Haiti reached the “completion point” for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and would receive complete cancellation of its multilateral debts. I am also working to increase United States bilateral assistance to Haiti.

It is imperative that Haiti’s next elections be free and fair and that they be perceived as free and fair. Political parties should not be excluded from an election without a legally compelling reason, determined through a transparent, impartial process.

The CEP, to my knowledge, has not provided a public, written explanation for the exclusions of the political parties from the upcoming elections. The CEP’s failure to explain the justification for the political parties’ exclusions for almost a month raises questions about the validity of these exclusions. The fact that the decision was made by a provisional CEP – one chosen by your office from a list of nominations from organizations selected by your office rather than according to the 1987 Constitution – also raises questions about the fairness of the process.

I urge you to take appropriate action to ensure that the upcoming elections in Haiti are free and fair. This includes taking appropriate action to ensure that the CEP: a) provides a complete, public explanation for the exclusions; and b) allows any political party that was excluded for anything less than a clear, compelling legal reason to fully participate in the February elections.

Please communicate with The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States; The Honorable Eliot Engel, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; and myself regarding the measures you take in this matter. I look forward to continuing to work with you to support democratic development in Haiti.

Sincerely,

Maxine Waters
Member of Congress

cc: Hon. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States
The Honorable Eliot Engel, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

see also

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AP misrepresents reality of Lavalas exclusion in Haiti elections Nov 29

Two-faced Democracy in HaitiNov 26

Perverted Priorities: Corpses, sham elections, and sweatshops in Haiti Apr 10

Clinton's 'silence' challenged in Haiti Jul 7

U.N. denials in Haiti Jun 30

Lavalas closed the doors again, elections in Haiti a disaster for Lespwa government Jun 27

"Thank you Bill Clinton" — one more assassination by UN troops in Haiti Jun 20

Haiti bids "A Dieu" to Father Jeri and promises "The Struggle continues" Jun 19

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