Observation Mission in Haiti
June 16, 2000
on preliminary reports from the 21 observers who were deployed
throughout the department of the Grand’Anse for the June 11 partial
elections, the OAS Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) considers that,
despite certain irregularities observed, overall the polling was
carried out in an adequate and professional manner. However, the
Mission remains concerned about the destruction on June 12 of counted
ballots and vote tally sheets, already delivered to the Communal
Electoral Office, for all the polling stations in the commune of Les
Irois. The Mission notes with satisfaction the Provisional Electoral
Council’s decision to re-hold legislative, municipal and local
elections in this commune.
Mission’s observers were deployed in the majority of the region’s
communes several days before the vote. They visited more than 180
polling stations located throughout the 18 communes of the
Grand’Anse on election day. After the vote count, the Mission’s
teams followed the delivery of voting materials by pollworkers to the
Communal Electoral Offices (BECs) in nine communes. Teams then
observed the compilation of results in the majority of the BECs. The
Mission had established a presence in the Grand’Anse since the
beginning of March in order to closely follow preparations for these
elections, considered vital to completing the legislative, municipal
and local elections on a national scale.
Mission congratulates the CEP, local electoral authorities, the
Haitian National Police and the Haitian Government for their
collaboration in establishing a climate of calm and security
throughout this department on June 11, which led to the high turnout
by Grand’Anse voters.
from the serious incident which occured at the BEC in Les Irois,
several irregularities marred electoral operations in the department.
The Mission has confirmed that on Saturday June 10 several pollworkers
from the commune of Anse à Veau were attacked while they were
transporting election materials to their villages and the ballots for
eight polling stations were stolen. None of the polling stations
established in the 5th section of this commune opened on June 11
following this attack. The Mission has also verified that in the
commune of Dame Marie, during the night of June 11 after the vote
tally was completed, pollworkers for four polling stations were
attacked by armed men who stole all the counted ballots and tally
sheets. Counted ballots for local elections (CASEC and ASEC) for
another polling station in this commune were also stolen on the same
night. The Mission considers that these incidents could have an impact
on local election results, and maybe on the results for other races in
these two communes.
Mission is currently investigating allegations that a pollwatcher for
a political party was beaten and then kidnapped in an area of the
commune of Jérémie which borders on the commune of Roseaux.
the course of election day, the Mission’s observers noted the high
number of pollwatchers representing the major political parties and
independent candidates in the majority of the polling stations
visited. They also observed an even higher number of national
observers. However, in the communes of Miragoâne, Barradères, Petite
Rivière des Nippes, Anse à Veau, Pestel, Beaumont and Jérémie, the
Mission observed that a number of the national observers wearing
t-shirts marked « CNO » or « KNO », the
abbreviation for the National Council of Electoral Observation,
behaved as though they were pollwatchers for various political
parties. In the commune of Barradères, the Mission’s observers saw
some « national observers » voting more than once.
Mission understands that the Coordinating Office for the National
Council of Electoral Observation is investigating this problem in
order to find a solution.
the town of Jérémie and the commune of Miragoâne, vote tally
operations were transfered from individual polling stations to
centralized locations, apparently for logistical and security reasons.
However, after the vote counts were finished in these locations, it
appears that vote tally sheets were not posted at any of the
individual polling stations. The Mission observed that this transfer
of vote tally operations, undertaken with assistance from the police,
was relatively well-organized and the vote count was done in an
orderly and calm manner.
Electoral Observation Mission, which will maintain an office in the
Grand’Anse until the end of the electoral process, is continuing to
observe the compilation of election results in the communal or
departmental electoral offices.
Mission commends the determination of the Grand’Anse population to
go to the polls to elect its representatives. It also recognizes the
enormous effort made by election officials at the communal offices (BECs)
of Miragoâne and Petit Trou des Nippes, as well as by officials of
the departmental electoral office (BED) of Miragoâne, following the
fires set in the premises of the BECs in these two communes. Their
efforts made possible the holding of full elections in these areas on
Mission encourages electoral and police authorities, as well as the
Haitian Government, political parties, candidates and civil society,
to continue to play their part in order for the electoral process to
be completed in an atmosphere of peace and tolerance. The Mission also
encourages election officials to continue to work in such a way that
the compilation of election results is carried out with the greatest
degree of transparency, this being fundamental to the credibility of
these elections and to guaranteeing that the will of the Haitian
electorate is fully respected.
further information, please contact the Mission’s press officer, Ms.
Hannah Taylor, at 511-5690 or 403-0219