Haitians Protest Sham Elections - by Stephen Lendman
Washington's imperial boot flaunts Lavalas' slogan: "All people are people (Tout moun se moun)." The sham elections are one of many abuses. As a result, Haitians continue protesting for rights they've been long denied, including leaders serving them, not monied interests.
On December 3, Al Jazeera's Sebastian Walker said street protests continued for the fourth consecutive day after the November 28 sham elections.
"Tensions reached a level not seen in Haiti's capital in many weeks. UN troops were powerless to keep the crowds back. At times the city center looked more like a war zone."
Litter bins were toppled, then used to block roads. "Frustrations over fraudulent elections were taking on a new turn." UN officials told several angry candidates they were ahead in the popular vote, lying to enlist their support for a rigged process.
"For Haitians, this is business as usual with election politics. Everyone knew this would happen, and that Washington was aware that (Rene Preval) would try to orchestrate votes in favor of his candidates." People also rage about "foreign powers adding legitimacy to a fraudulent vote. The anger on the streets is palpable. The crisis continues."
On December 2, reporting from Port-au-Prince, independent journalist Ansel Herz said:
"Furious demonstrations continued across Haiti (days after) the Nov. 28 highly contested election in which thousands (were) unable to vote." They reacted by rock-throwing, barricading roads, and protesting angrily in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, Les Cayes, Hinche, Petit Goave, Archaie, and elsewhere.
On November 30, "demonstrators clashed with United Nations peacekeeping troops in St. Marc and Gonaives." Most presidential candidates denounced the process in favor of Preval's hand-picked candidate, Jude Celestin, demanding new elections.
Presidential hopefuls, observers, and journalists witnessed brazen fraud, Canada's CBC reporting "massive fraud, blatant ballot-box stuffing." Reporting from Port-au-Prince, Paul Hunter called it "unbelievable," saying he'd previously witnessed electoral fraud, but "never" anything like this.
"We saw ballot stuffing. We heard voters who were intimidated into voting for a candidate. And we saw thugs, gangs of thugs, going into polling stations, grabbing stacks of ballots, marking them with the candidate of their choice," INITE party's Jude Celestin. He was the only major candidate not signing a statement calling for the election's annulment.
On December 5, the Philadelphia Inquirer gave Lamp for Haiti.org's Regine Theodat and Ted Oswald op-ed space headlining, "Annul Haiti's elections and have free, fair vote," saying:
"The elections were fraught with disorganization, corruption, and human rights abuses." In one Cite Soleil location, "An angry mob (protested) because voting monitors supporting the INITE party refused them entry to the poll because they (wouldn't) support Preval's party." Many other locations had similar problems.
"Disenfranchised and ignored, many voters resisted the illegitimacy of the elections and found ways around" the Provisional Electoral Council's (CEP) "failures and apparent malfeasance. Some voted without permission; others organized street boycotts....chanting 'Arrest Preval and CEP.' Others sang Haitian freedom songs..." Haitians were again defrauded.
On December 3, Reuters reported about "2,000 protesters marched in Haiti's capital demanding a rerun of Sunday's elections....skewed by fraud." They waved red cards calling for Preval's removal and disqualification of Celestin. "Arrest Preval," and "No to the first round," they shouted. "The march swelled as it passed poor city slums and finished" at the CEP's downtown offices.
On December 4, Miami Herald writers Jacqueline Charles and Trenton Daniel headlined, "Ballot inspections under intense scrutiny in Haiti," saying: