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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05PORTAUPRINCE1070
2005-04-18 20:42:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Port Au Prince
Cable title:  

HAITI ELECTIONS: CANADIAN ELECTIONS EXPERT

Tags:   PREL  EAID  PGOV  HA 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS PORT AU PRINCE 001070 

SIPDIS

WHA/EX PLEASE PASS USOAS
NSC FOR SHANNON
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID PGOV HA
SUBJECT: HAITI ELECTIONS: CANADIAN ELECTIONS EXPERT
REVIEWS BUDGET INCREASE REQUEST

REF: PORT-AU-PRINCE 1005

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLAS PORT AU PRINCE 001070

SIPDIS

WHA/EX PLEASE PASS USOAS
NSC FOR SHANNON
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID PGOV HA
SUBJECT: HAITI ELECTIONS: CANADIAN ELECTIONS EXPERT
REVIEWS BUDGET INCREASE REQUEST

REF: PORT-AU-PRINCE 1005

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED


1. (SBU) Ron Gould, retired deputy of Elections-Canada and
currently an elections consultant for the Canadian
government, visited Port-au-Prince April 9-16, to review the
recently increased elections budget (reftel). The government
of Canada (GOC) has already made available USD 14 million to
the Haiti elections effort. Before committing any further
assistance, the GOC wanted Gould's evaluation of the
electoral process and the new USD 60.7 million budget. He
shared his initial reactions and apprehension that the
current budget must be rationalized against electoral
priorities with emboffs April 15.


2. (SBU) Gould provided emboffs with a preliminary readout
of his impressions and highlighted his major concerns. He
characterized the elections process as fragmented, on the
part of both the national and international efforts. The CEP
organization was inherently weak without any internal
capacity. The fragmentation within the CEP was made worse by
the "Commission" structure where each CEP member either
heads, or is a member of, the various electoral commissions.
Gould reserved particular concern for the disconnects he
noted between the UN and OAS election assistance teams. He
lamented the lack of electoral expertise on the part of the
MINUSTAH Electoral Support Unit, particularly in the
leadership position.


3. (SBU) Gould said that for the elections to be successful,
the registration process must be successful. He expressed
concern with the timeline for the elections saying that the
dates for an election should be driven by the accomplishment
of the voter registration process and not, as the case in
Haiti, with the elections dates announced and the
registration process forced within those time constraints.
Gould suggested that if it became absolutely necessary, he
thought the October municipal elections could be pushed back
to coincide with the November legislative and presidential
elections. He said that ensuring that the computerized,
high-tech registration system envisioned works is a critical
priority.


4. (SBU) Comment: Gould has it right with regard to the
difficulties caused by the feeble CEP structure that are
exacerbated by the failure of the CEP members to consistently
work together towards one goal without individual agendas
interfering in the electoral process. However, his concern
over the lack of expertise on the part of the UN elections
unit is disquieting. Gould and the Canadian Embassy have
promised to share his formal report and analysis with the
international donors, including an initial "executive
summary" that should be prepared within the next week. A
push from another donor to further rationalize the elections
budget will be useful but ultimately, we may have to make any
further USG elections funding decisions based on the
information available now. End Comment.
FOLEY