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(E-127)

 July 7, 2000

OAS WILL NOT OBSERVE HAITI'S JULY 9 SECOND ROUND ELECTIONS

As announced previously, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission has determined that, according to the provisions of Haiti's 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 Observation Mission sent a letter to the President of the CEP several weeks ago in which this error was brought to the Electoral Council's 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 21st, the President of the CEP, Léon 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 Haiti's 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 21st, 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.