Human Rights Group Notes that Haiti's Electoral Council Did Not Approve Run-off Elections


Brian Concannon Jr., Esq., Director, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

Brian@ijdh.org, 541 263 0029 (U.S. cell), +509 3419 0888 (Port au Prince)

Nicole Phillips, Esq., Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

Nicole@ijdh.org, 510 715 2855 (U.S. Cell)

The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) notes that despite reports to the con=ADtrary, Haiti's Provisional Elec=ADtoral Coun=ADcil (CEP) has not approved a run-off election between candidates Michel Martelly and Mirlande Manigat. Although CEP spokesman Richard=ADson Dumel announced such a runoff on February 3,CEP member Ginette Chérubin stated that only four of the CEP's eight members approved the first round of elections in writing. Haiti's largest daily newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, has confirmed that four of the eight Council members did not approve the run-off decision.

Article 8 of the CEP's bylaws requires that the Councils decisions be made by an "absolute majority of its members." Therefore, a valid decision regarding the run-off would require five votes.

IJDH notes that the current run-off controversy is the result of trying to create a "good" result from the deeply flawed November 28 elections in Haiti. IJDH supports the efforts of many Haitian civil society groups and political parties, joined by the Congressional Black Caucus and several U.S. human rights groups in calling for new, inclusive elections as the only practical solution to Haiti's election crisis.