MINUSTAH Admits There Were Some Problems

November 29, 2010

A full day after polls closed in Haiti, MINUSTAH issued a statement describing its account of what happened yesterday. For the first time, the organization acknowledges some of the more serious irregularities in the vote [Google translation]:

If everyone wants to use the power of the polls, very few of them succeed. Because their name is not on the electoral register. “I have my card, I can not vote. Yet it is in this camp that I had signed up, “says one voter, visibly angry. A similar situation in the camp Jean-Marie Vincent had resulted in an early event and widespread panic despite a very noticeable presence of the Haiti National Police (HNP) and MINUSTAH peacekeepers.

The statement goes on to acknowledge other problems, and to cite presidential candidates’ condemnation of the elections and protests and “unrest” by thousands of Haitians. But it also falls far short of acknowledging the scale of the problems that beset yesterday’s vote, and cites CEP head Gaillot Dorsinvil downplaying the instances of irregularities.

The press statement, as with MINUSTAH’s public comments during election day, paints a far different picture than the one described by most international press reports. CBC, for example, filmed people engaged in ballot stuffing, repeat voting, and other fraud yesterday – the kind of fraud that MINUSTAH, the OAS, CARICOM, or other international bodies have yet to consider seriously in any public comments.

“I saw ballot stuffing, Wendy, I saw ballots torn from the ballot boxes, I saw angry election officials, angry candidates, angry voters. I saw the kind of elections people here hoped this would not be,” CBC reporter Paul Hunter reported yesterday at the beginning of his report. Hunter was clearly disgusted by the “blatant fraud that was seen everywhere in Haiti today” as he described it.

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