Secretary of State John Kerry visited Haiti today for talks on the October 25 elections.

He presented the usual diplomatic line about “pulling together.” However, like so many before, and many after him, Kerry does not realize that Haitians really don’t care about Democracy or elections. They hate politicians.

What they want is stability, food, work and school for the kids.

Kerry mentioned that the United States had spent $4,500,000,000 in Haiti as a result of the earthquake. What he didn’t say was that the vast majority of this fortune stayed in the United States as ONG payments, salaries, commissions and a lot of other stuff that did nothing for Haiti.

Looks good on paper.

Not effective on the ground – in Haiti.

Martelly had the last word.

He closed the public meeting with a nice outline of what he had done for Haiti.


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3 thoughts on “JOHN KERRY TALKS OF ELECTIONS October 6, 2015

  1. Kerry Stops in Haiti to Discuss Election Preparations

    By david mcfadden, associated press

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Oct 6, 2015, 7:44 PM ET

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stopped in Haiti’s capital on Tuesday to discuss preparations for the country’s upcoming elections and encourage people to refrain from disrupting balloting after a messy parliamentary first round in August.

    In some districts, legislative elections held Aug. 9 were so plagued with disorder and voter intimidation that makeup elections will have to be held in more than two dozen constituencies. Monitors with the Organization of American States said the irregularities were not enough to invalidate overall results.

    “Haiti needs governing institutions that are legitimate and representative, and those cannot come into being without free and fair elections that take part without intimidation, without violence,” Kerry said on the grounds of Haiti’s National Palace in Port-au-Prince.

    Haiti will hold its first round of presidential elections on Oct. 25 at the same time as runoffs for legislative seats. With none of the 54 presidential candidates likely to dominate voting, this month’s election is expected to force the two highest vote-getters into a Dec. 27 runoff to become Haiti’s next leader.

    With outgoing President Michel Martelly at his side, Kerry encouraged Haitians to listen to those candidates who offer “real plans” to advance the country, noting there needs to be confidence in the political system to help attract investment and jobs.

    He said the U.S. and the rest of the international community hope that the Oct. 25 elections will be a “smoother process” than what took place in August.

    In a Caribbean country that has undergone more than 30 coups in 200 years. Kerry stressed that it was only through holding elections that a “legitimate transfer of power can take place.”

    Martelly thanked Kerry for Washington’s support with helping to finance elections, strengthen the roughly 12,000-member national police force and boost the chronically struggling economy. The U.S. is Haiti’s largest international donor, providing more than $30 million to support this year’s electoral process alone.

    Acknowledging that the Aug. 9 elections were “far from perfect,” Martelly said that the upcoming vote on Oct. 25 “should be better” organized by election authorities.

    “I laud the help the United States gave us for the electoral process, which must end before the end of the year,” said Martelly, who repeated that he would leave office in February to honor the Constitution and not in May when he was previously expected to depart. He is barred from running for a consecutive term.

    Kerry stopped in Haiti on his return to Washington from Chile, where he attended the second “Our Ocean” conference. He said the U.S. was working to finalize an agreement with Cuba on a protected marine area, among other announcements.

  2. Secretary Kerry: Haiti’s Oct. 25 vote must happen

    U.S. lawmakers want ‘free, fair and inclusive’ elections
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry rejects transition talk
    The fate of U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti to be decided

    Rejecting the idea of an unelected transition government taking power in Haiti, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday pledged continued U.S. support for the Oct. 25 presidential elections, saying the vote must happen as scheduled.
    “It is only through elections that a legitimate transfer of power can take place,” Kerry said during his first visit to Haiti and after a meeting with Haitian President Michel Martelly and other government officials. “Haiti needs to come together and its political system … needs to get away from gridlock.”
    Martelly reaffirmed his commitment to elections, saying his government is “committed to respecting the deadline of 25 October and the need for presidential power to be transmitted” from one elected leader to another.
    In 19 days, 5.8 million registered Haitians are scheduled to go to the polls to select Martelly’s successor from a field of 54 candidates. Balloting for mayors in 140 municipalities, and the second round of the fraud- and violence-marred Aug. 9 legislative vote, are also scheduled that day.
    I am deeply concerned about Haiti’s 2015 elections and the impact they will have on Haiti’s future if the Haitian people do not perceive them to be credible U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
    “The political conditions have not been met for there to be free, honest and democratic elections in the country,” said opposition leader and former presidential candidate Andre Michel. Michel, who rejected Kerry’s position, has been leading demonstrations demanding the early departure of Martelly and the resignation of Pierre-Louis Opont, the head of a nine-member Provisional Electoral Council, known as the CEP.
    “President Martelly and his government are the main obstacles to the holding of good elections,” he said.
    Despite Kerry’s tough stance, the international community, which has insisted from the onset that these are Haitian-led elections, has deep concerns about the vote, including the role of police and preparation by election officials.
    The electoral process has been rife with problems that have undermined the credibility of the CEP. At the root of the problems is the armed violence and voter intimidation that led to balloting being suspended at dozens of polling stations on Aug. 9, and an 18 percent voter turnout.
    It is deplorable that the CEP has decided not to consider the sanctions demanded by several sectors of the Haitian society Haitian elections observers
    Last week, the CEP announced that 10 legislators, including two senators, had won in the first round despite earlier admissions that the vote needed to be held again in 25 constituencies. Four days later, council member Néhémy Joseph resigned.
    On Monday, Haiti’s largest human rights group, the National Human Rights Defense Network, reiterated its call for the CEP to take corrective measures ahead of Oct. 25. Otherwise, the CEP risks undermining the population’s confidence in the electoral process, the group warned.
    “It is deplorable that the CEP has decided not to consider the sanctions demanded by several sectors of the Haitian society,” the group said in a statement.
    Echoing observers’ concerns, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters urged Kerry to demand an investigation of the violence, fraud and voter intimidation and that responsible individuals and parties be sanctioned, regardless of political party affiliation.
    “I am deeply concerned about Haiti’s 2015 elections and the impact they will have on Haiti’s future if the Haitian people do not perceive them to be credible,” Waters said.
    Florida Republican lawmaker Mario Rubio also called on Kerry to provide U.S. support for “free, fair and inclusive” elections in Haiti. Other lawmakers have signed a letter to Kerry that states it is essential that the Oct. 25 elections and Dec. 27 presidential runoff “meet international electoral standards.”
    “The United States condemns any violence and we encourage full participating in the election process,” said Kerry, noting that the U.S. government has provided more than $30 million for the elections and will continue to assist. “Nobody wins when people refuse to take part and be part of the debate and choices for the future.”
    Kerry’s three-hour stop took place two days before the U.N. Security Council is scheduled to vote on renewing the mandate of its U.N. peacekeeping force, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is recommending that the mandate be extended “for an additional and possibly final year, until 15 October 2016.” The force has been key in providing stability in Haiti, where election-related violence remains a deep concern.
    Kerry pointed out that it’s only through a legal and legitimate transition that Haiti can attract investors.
    “We strongly urge people to embrace the opportunity in these next 19 days,” he said. “Go to t

  3. Dear Secretary Kerry:

    As you know, I am a strong supporter of Haiti, and I care deeply about the well-being of the Haitian people. I appreciate the ongoing efforts of the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide assistance to Haiti to improve health, education, nutrition, and economic development for the Haitian people.

    As a supporter of Haiti, I respect Haiti’s sovereignty. Nevertheless, I am deeply concerned about Haiti’s 2015 elections and the impact they will have on Haiti’s future if the Haitian people do not perceive them to be credible. Therefore, as you undertake a trip to Haiti at this critical moment, I urge you to take all necessary and appropriate action to support free, fair and democratic elections in Haiti.

    The voting in the August 9 first-round parliamentary elections was marred by massive irregularities, which set a troubling precedent for Haiti’s upcoming October 25 Presidential and second-round parliamentary elections. As you stated in your press conference with Prime Minister Evans Paul, it is “imperative” that these elections be successful. To make these elections successful, I believe it is imperative that the many problems noted in the first round of the elections be addressed, so that Haiti’s next government is legitimate and is perceived as legitimate.

    Haiti’s first-round legislative elections on August 9 were characterized by disorder, delays and the closing of many polling stations due to violence and fraud. Turnout was extremely low, with less than 18% of registered voters participating nationwide. Nearly 25% of the votes cast have not been accounted for and were never counted. Political party representatives – sometimes posing as election observers – frequently attempted to influence or intimidate voters, stuff ballot boxes and violently disrupt voting, according to local observer groups.[1] The European Union Observer Mission’s deputy head concluded that the disruptions and violence were consciously planned to influence the results.[2] The election, in the words of one observer group, was “an affront to democratic principles.”[3]

    Despite an outcry from Haitian civil society and political parties, the CEP has not adequately remedied these glaring problems. Final results recently released by the CEP indicate that the vote will be rerun only in 24 of the country’s 119 constituencies. The CEP ruled that they would accept the votes from constituencies where at least 70% of the tally sheets were considered valid, a distressingly low threshold for acceptability, which brings into question the legitimacy of the candidates who will eventually take office.[4]

    Despite local observers reporting widespread violence and irregularities, the CEP only excluded 16 out of the nearly 2,000 candidates from the election due to their alleged involvement in election-day violence. These sanctions, however, are little more than a slap on the wrist; candidates found responsible for violence and disruption of the voting process should be prosecuted. The CEP also warned parties that further disruptions of the elections would not be tolerated and notably singled out two political parties allegedly close to President Michel Martelly — Parti Haïtien Tet Kale (PHTK) and Bouclier — as those most frequently responsible for irregularities and disruptions.[5] However, the CEP announced no significant sanctions to penalize these parties. The failure of the CEP to take stronger action for blatant electoral violations that often rose to criminal offenses delivers a disturbing political lesson: in Haitian elections, crime pays.

    The inability or unwillingness of the CEP to properly investigate and sanction parties and candidates responsible for election irregularities has seriously damaged the institution’s credibility. I urge you to send a clear message that electoral violence will not be tolerated.

    Many political parties and Haitian civil society are now demanding, at a minimum, an impartial and independent investigation into the August 9 election irregularities. Many are calling for the resignation of the current CEP and the annulment of the entire first round.[6] Thus far, United States officials in Haiti have refused to recognize the scale of the fraud and violence that affected the August 9 elections. Disregarding the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, U.S. officials continue to insist that incidents of violence and fraud were isolated and did not affect the overall electoral process.[7]

    President John Kennedy famously remarked, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Running transparently unfair elections, with the support of the international community, will leave many Haitians to once again conclude that they have no choice but to protest the elections and the consequent government through social disruption. Indeed, this is what happened in the political cycle of the past four years that began with controversial elections in 2010 and 2011 that brought President Martelly to power, and led to the current crisis where every elected office in the country is vacant save for ten Senate seats and the Presidency. Such disruption would threaten to severely limit the next government’s ability to govern and imperil United States’ past and future investments in Haiti’s reconstruction.

    I call on you to make a clear statement that the violence, fraud and voter intimidation witnessed on August 9 should be thoroughly and independently investigated, that the individuals and parties responsible for the violence must be sanctioned, regardless of political party affiliation, and that the CEP must make the reforms necessary to establish public trust. The United States government should also state unequivocally that it will not provide funding for elections that do not meet these minimum, basic democratic requirements.


    Maxine Waters
    Member of Congress

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