Haiti – Elections recap
Yes, there were elections in Haiti last night. Guess what? People voted —although others would lead you by their headline to believe that a few acts of violence and disruptions were the only events which mattered.
Haiti begins a day of calm after its first Legislative elections in almost 5 years. Various reports speak of violence, incompetence, and polling station issues which caused chaos. However, these situations are not uncommon in other Caribbean and African countries.
It is reported that 56 of 1558 polling stations were thrashed and ballots destroyed. There were also reports of violence that include shots being fired, a female candidate attacked but unhurt, 4 fatalities, and a few people could not vote although their names were on the list due to bureaucratic problems.
President Michel Martelly has stated that the violence was not as widespread as reported by many news sources.
A report in the Huffington Post states, that “After voting in Petionville, Martelly downplayed the Election Day problems.” According to the report Martelly said, “We have some little gaps, and we hope to fix those gaps for the presidential election. We don’t know who the troublemakers are. No matter who they are, it’s going to be an issue for all the candidates.” – (Huffington Post)
There were over 9,000 police officers and 2,500 soldiers of the Minustah deployed in throughout the country.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission In Haiti (UNSTAMIH) (French: Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti), also known as MINUSTAH, an acronym of the French translation, is a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti that has been in operation since 2004. –En.Wikipedia
An international election observer group, the Electoral Observation Mission of the EU, was actively involved in reporting on the elections.
A representative of the organization stated that the elections produced, “Positive results despite small problems. In general, I believe that the Haitians are going to vote, to demonstrate political will,” declared Elena Valenciano.
Haiti needs political stability in order to attract investments from other world governments and private investors. This first round of elections is a positive indication that as the country moves toward electing its new president in October 2015, the Haitian citizens are resolute in creating a better country.
Haiti, a nation of about 10 million people has struggled with its stability and growth since the ousting of the Duvalier dictatorships, which reigned from 1957 to 1986, and subsequent military coups and election fraud.
The ballots are uncounted and official results are expected in a few days. These results will tell the world how many of Haiti’s 5.8 million registered voters participated in the elections.
By Karl A. Haughton