Haitians Cast Ballots Despite Chaos


Haitians rush a polling station guarded by U.N. soldiers. >>More Photos (Ron Haviv / VII for washingtonpost.com)

Thousands of people took to the streets of Port-au-Prince early Tuesday, some to vote and others to protest that they couldn't. Many polling stations opened hours late and others were without the proper paperwork. Some ballot registrations were sent to precincts miles away. The largest show of frustration came in Preval's stronghold of Cite Soleil, where the election commission had barred polling stations. By late Tuesday, U.N. troops were able to restore order and election officials extended polling hours to allow everyone to vote. >>Full Story: After Chaotic Start in Haiti, Election Lurches Forward

By washingtonpost.com |  February 8, 2006; 10:50 AM ET
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These both chaos and confusion concerned
somebody...The Haitian People is ONE...
These difficulties were created agains the
Haitian People in its totality...
For political reason they refuse to all
Haitian people the Rigth to choice his leds
Souveraintly...It's the deep reason of this
crisis since 20 years...

Posted by: Jean-Gérard Pierre | February 7, 2006 04:59 PM

I'd like to know how the voting is going in the wealthy areas of the country. Are those people subject to long waits? Closed polling stations?

Posted by: eRobin | February 7, 2006 05:57 PM

I totally missed the question from eRobin regarding "wealthy areas" in Haiti. In a nutshell, there is no such thing as a wealthy area in Haiti today. Even in places where the rich live, they are completely surrounded by slums (Petionville, Peguy-Ville, Montagne Noire, Laboule, just to name a few areas in Port-au-Prince.) At any rate, the problems of polls opening late or not at all occurred just about everywhere, not just in the poor areas. It was not about denying the poor the right to vote. It was more a display of poor preparation from the Electoral Council, the OAS and Minustah, and that's after they spent close to $80 million of taxpayers' money from the US, the EU, and South America. Disgusting!

Posted by: Jean-Claude Jasmin | February 8, 2006 12:52 AM

All that money, all that manpower, and they've still managed to screw up the election day. Perhaps that will teach the international community not to leave anything to the sectors who nominated the membership of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), and whose representatives have filled government posts for the last two years......Throw the lot of them in the trash, and move on without them. It's the only chance for Haiti. Twenty years of this small sector of society blocking and obstructing everything is too long.

Posted by: Charles | February 8, 2006 06:56 AM

Charles,

The international community was PART OF THE PROBLEM. It is the OAS that assigned voting centers to voters, not the Electoral COuncil. In some cases, they assigned people to voting centers that were more than 8 miles from their homes ... in rural, mountaineous areas. Talk about stupidity. It is also the International Community (UN) that awarded the contract for electoral cards to a Mexican company which failed to deliver them on time and made numerous errors. The International community was responsible for 2 of 3 postponements of the elections. Where the CEP failed massively is in not properly training poll workers. Let's be fair in assigning the blame.

Posted by: Jean-Claude Jasmin | February 8, 2006 07:47 AM


According to published reports and some U.N. officials, Preval has gotten close to 70% of the votes in the wealthy commune of Petion-Ville alone. If he has gotten that much in the district where the MRE's live imagine how much he has gotten in the rest of the country, EVEN with the attempted fraud in some poor areas to prevent them from voting for Preval obviously.

In the event Preval does not win this election outright by more than 50% of the votes, some people will have to answer some serious questions.

In the event this first round is not stolen by the MRE's and their accomplices from the ultraconservative and racist likes of Helm and his stooge R. Noriega in DC, and Preval is indeed declare the winner, I really hope some of these MRE's go through with their promise to leave rather than have a POORer and BLACK man not in their pockets run the country again(this is neither an endorsement for Arisitde either, but the Haitian people gave them the mandate and as such should have been treated better, perhaps a la Charles Taylor of Liberia which would have prevent the Hell that we now have in Haiti which the U.S. helped to create. As an elected leader he deserved that right instead of being forced out the way he did). One thing is certain, Preval will more than likely present an amendment to the Constitution so that Haitians abroad will not only be able to vote in Haitians election by absentee ballot perhaps, but will also be able to run for office as well (think Simeus). This along with the expected involvement by the Haitians abroad in the Haitian economy through investment, would have brought the small and racist Haitian elite to their knees as they would have lost their monopoly on everything from the SWEATSHOPS they run and to the Haitian media they owned that is supposed to be unbiased.

Something needs to change in Haiti, and no matter how much these MRE's try to manipulate the political machine on the ground in the country, the people will NEVER do what they want them to do. How else would you explain some 75yrs men from Cite Soley walking a mile or 2 to be in line at 4am so that he can vote at a center that was supposed to open at 7am? Election is the only freedom Haitians really have in a country where they are mostly treated like 2nd class citizen (pie sal, moun andeyo etc...) because of the color of their skin, their last name, and because they are poor. Reminds you of the (unfinished) Haitian Revolution of 1804 against slavery doesn't it?!

I still can't believe this Presidential candidate who said recently in the NY Times, "the poorer you are, the less democratic you are." In other words, the Haitian people doesn't deserve to vote because they are a bunch of uneducated stupid black folks, and they should just go ahead and assigned the brother in law of (non-Haitian) King Andy Apaid, leader of the serfs and sweatshops workers, Lord Charles Baker, as President of the country.

Like the Washington Post' slogan says...to these MRE's - "if you don't get it...YOU DON'T GET IT".


jj

Posted by: JeanJak Dessalines | February 8, 2006 11:09 AM

The US spent millions defoliating forests in Vietnam during the war. I'd like to see America spend some real money in Haiti to plant trees on those bare mountains. Fair, no?

Posted by: Drew | February 8, 2006 11:01 PM

a la traka!

Posted by: griot | February 9, 2006 12:24 PM

The real question is what's the game plan for avoid having those who aren't happy with outcome of the election from resorting to violence? Are they being offered a seat at the table?

Posted by: Silver Spring | February 9, 2006 12:28 PM

The real question is what's the game plan to avoid having those who aren't happy with outcome of the election from resorting to violence? Are they being offered a seat at the table?


Posted by: | February 9, 2006 12:29 PM

Those unhappy with the outcome of the elections were given a chance to capture the heart and mind of the Haitian voters and they failed miserably.

Their failure is due to the fact that they have no legitimacy in Haiti. They do not represent anyone interest in Haiti besides their own and that of their masters up north.

They were offered a seat at the table during the Aristide administration and chose instead to not negotiate and hijack the country at gun points with the help of their masters of North.

They are free to leave Haiti to the real heir of the Haitian revolution. They will not be missed.

Posted by: margarette rateau | February 10, 2006 01:43 PM

That is non sense and an inflammatory statement. You know pertinently that will never happen. It has been 20 years since baby doc left and nothing has changed because again the haitian leadership is inept. They have failed to realize that thier stubborness has cause suffering and stagnation. They have been unable to realize that they must give a little to get what they want. They have failed to contain and curb their oppositions discontent. I will not be surprised is this election is contested.

Posted by: Silver Spring | February 10, 2006 02:44 PM

That is non sense as well as an inflammatory statement. You know pertinently that will never happen. It has been 20 years since baby doc left, and nothing has changed because again the haitian leadership is inept. They have failed to realize that thier stubborness has cause suffering and stagnation. They have been unable to realize that they must give a little to get what they want. They have failed to contain and curb their oppositions discontent. I will not be surprised if this election is contested.

Posted by: | February 10, 2006 02:47 PM

"They have been unable to realize that they must give a little to get what they want. They have failed to contain and curb their oppositions discontent. I will not be surprised if this election is contested."

I don't know who die and made you an expert on Haiti.

For too long 95% of Haiti's population have been held hostage by 5% MRE's. Accustomed to have Haiti all to themselves for the past 202 years, these MRE's are having a hard time adjusting to the idea of popular democracy.

I got news for them and their apologists, they will not be able to put the gin back into the bottle. We've come a long way and there is no going back.

20 years have already been spent trying to accomodate them at the expense of 95% of the population. Enough is Enough!!!

These MREs are free to leave Haiti to the real heir of the Haitian revolution. They will not be missed.


Posted by: margarette rateau | February 10, 2006 04:05 PM

Look what I found while surfing the web:

America historic debt to Haiti

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/020906.html

Posted by: margarette rateau | February 10, 2006 04:35 PM

"I don't know who die and made you an expert on Haiti".

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Like I thought, they have already begun to contest the elections.

Whoever wrote the electoral system to include a run-off if the leading candidate doesn't have over 50% of the votes should be hanged as well as those who accepted it. It's non sense to have a run off when the second runner upper isn't even close by 10% of the votes.

You have to be an idiot if you think these elections weren't going to be contested. The reason this is happening is because the rules of the game aren't clear or just poorly written to allows this kind of stuff to continue.

There is nothing new in blaming the interational community. The ones responsible are the leaders on the playing field.


Posted by: Silver Spring | February 13, 2006 09:38 AM

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