Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate of Haiti’s Fanmi Lavalas Party, is coming to the Bay Area. The visit by Dr. Narcisse provides a rare opportunity to hear directly from one of its leaders about the situation on the ground in Haiti.
The Fanmi Lavalas party, long recognized as representing Haiti’s poor majority, organized a Dignity Caravan that toured the entire country throughout the campaign with Dr. Narcisse, often accompanied by President Aristide, attracting huge, enthusiastic crowds everywhere they went. Nevertheless, questionable polls announced the leading candidate to be Jovenel Moïse of Martelly’s PHTK Party. Clearly Haiti’s majority poor, who turned out by the thousands at Lavalas campaign rallies and demonstrations, were not consulted in the polling.
Election day arrived, and it became obvious that a massive coordinated campaign of voter suppression and fraud had taken place. Voters needed an official Voter ID card, but many people never received them, so they couldn’t vote. The number of voting stations was significantly reduced, especially in rural areas, so people had to travel for miles with limited public transportation to try to vote.
When they arrived, their names weren’t on the lists outside the polling places. Or if they were, their names weren’t on the lists inside the station. Other people were told to vote in cities far away. A countrywide electrical power outage one hour after the polls closed caused 2 hours of darkness as ballots were being transported and counted. Nevertheless, some people managed to vote, and sacks of ballots were later found uncounted and discarded.
Dr. Narcisse became the Fanmi Lavalas candidate for president in two elections contaminated by corruption.
The Electoral Council (CEP), composed of supporters of Martelly and of the coups that overthrew President Aristide, oversaw the elections. The Council announced that not only had Jovenel Moïse, the clone of Martelly, won an absolute majority of the vote – 55 percent – but he had finished first in Fanmi Lavalas party strongholds, including the very neighborhoods where many of the demonstrators lived.
The international media promoted this fraud, reporting the announced election results as “official,” not even mentioning that the vote isn’t official until the contending parties are given the chance to appeal the results.
The parties that were reported to have finished second, third and fourth in the vote DID appeal the results, in a so-called verification process. However first, the verifiers, including the three contesting political parties, were allowed far too little time to review each of the several sets of documents from each polling station.
The fraud became so grossly blatant that in one small sample being verified, 85 percent of the votes for Jovenel Moïse were disqualified. In other samples, verifiers found numbers changed or added. By the third day of verification, CEP officials violated the electoral law Article 187 by changing the procedures so that the contesting parties could no longer participate in the verification but had to stand behind and merely watch.
The three contesting parties and most observers left the room at this point, leaving three quarters of the election tally sheets not processed as required. It became clear that the CEP had no interest in true verification – their mission was to legitimize a pre-ordained electoral coup d’état. On Jan. 3, the CEP announced that Moïse had won the election.
The fraud became so grossly blatant that in one small sample being verified, 85 percent of the votes for Jovenel Moïse were disqualified.