Friday Nov 16

Election challenges continue in Haiti


PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- After Haiti’s Office of the Departmental Electoral Litigation (BCED) declared that it did not have jurisdiction to order a verification of the ballots at the vote tabulation centre (CTV) requested by three complainants following last month’s presidential election, the three protesting parties, Fanmi Lavalas, LAPEH and Pitit Desalin, filed their cases before the National Electoral Litigation Office (BCEN), the tribunal of last resort, and promised once again to provide tangible evidence and not speculation and other unsubstantiated allegations or rumours of alleged massive voter fraud - something they have never done before, HaitiLibre reported.
parties.jpg
According to André Michel, one of losing candidate Jude Célestin's lawyers, "There was no quality control on more than 78% of the ballots," a sufficient element, he said, that the BCEN should grant verification at the CTV.

Another losing candidate, Moïse Jean-Charles, who is apparently not afraid of the paradox, while contesting the victory of the declared president-elect Jovenel Moïse, said he has documents proving that he came second, not third, behind Jovenel Moïse. His arguments are based on the official voters lists (Procès Verbaux, PV) published on the website of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

Lawyers of the Fanmi Lavalas party, like the others, say they have all the evidence of fraud to convince the BCEN to order an audit at CTV

It seems that the three protesters will rely heavily on the PV published on the CEP website to justify their accusations and to try to convince the BCEN to accede to their demands, notwithstanding that the head of the CEP, Léopold Berlanger, had warned about interpreting the PV published on the CEP website in an attempt to predict a result.

"We know that the data that allow to us build the results are available to all; they will be on the CEP website, in the polling stations [...] but these data are not the results. The results are a combination of data, data analysis, data evaluation and a compilation of the data and finally a decision that the CEP will publish. It’s only that which is the result," Berlanger said at the time.

However, according to Rénald Lubérice, the political adviser of Jovenel Moïse, all these accusations are "fanciful". He asked the CEP to enforce the electoral decree by requiring that the plaintiffs submit concrete evidence and not reasoning, speculation or hearsay on possible fraud.

For the three protesting parties, no one has any interest in opposing the verification they are asking, an argument that is reminiscent of what led to the establishment of the two previous audit committees, the last of which resulted in the cancellation and resumption of the elections in 2015.

The BCEN hearings will begin on Wednesday, after the office is established by a public drawing of members’ names.

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