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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05PORTAUPRINCE2634
2005-10-24 19:56:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Port Au Prince
Cable title:  

HAITI'S ELECTIONS DG TAKES LEAD, WILL OTHERS FOLLOW

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  HA 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PORT AU PRINCE 002634 

SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
WHA ALSO FOR USOAS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL HA
SUBJECT: HAITI'S ELECTIONS DG TAKES LEAD, WILL OTHERS FOLLOW

REF: A. PORT-AU-PRINCE 2617

B. PORT-AU-PRINCE 2618

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Douglas M. Griffiths for reasons
1.4(b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PORT AU PRINCE 002634

SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
WHA ALSO FOR USOAS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL HA
SUBJECT: HAITI'S ELECTIONS DG TAKES LEAD, WILL OTHERS FOLLOW

REF: A. PORT-AU-PRINCE 2617

B. PORT-AU-PRINCE 2618

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Douglas M. Griffiths for reasons
1.4(b) and (d)


1. (C) Summary. Electoral Director General Jacques Bernard
is working to streamline elections preparations and ignoring
unworkable by-laws developed for the Provisional Electoral
Council (CEP) and the newly-formed electoral support
committee. Bernard expects the CEP to issue the final
approved lists of presidential candidates, including
Dumarsais Simeus and Jean Marie Cherestal, and national-level
candidates on Friday, October 28, one day after the
promulgation of the decree removing the Supreme Court from
the electoral appeals process. Bernard is impressed with the
preparations already made by the UN mission (MINUSTAH) and
the OAS and believes he can organize elections in time for a
February 7 transition, barring any interference. He is
counting on Prime Minister Latortue to prevent the
nationality and support committees from further interfering
in elections preparations. We are encouraged by Bernard's
professionalism and take-charge attitude, but disquieted by
signs that the both nationality and support committee members
continue to expect to play an active role. End Summary

Bernard in Charge
--------------


2. (C) Bernard told Emboffs on October 22 that he had
demanded executive authority from the Interim Government of
Haiti (IGOH) and had simply refused to operate under the
unworkable revised by-laws approved by the IGOH for the CEP
and the support committee (ref A). Those by-laws, finalized
on October 11 but not yet promulgated, maintain the CEP's
operational role and define the support committee as a
"decision-making body" with responsibility for all aspects of
the electoral process. Bernard said he had successfully
demanded that the CEP stay out of operational matters and
that he would move to see that the support committee
effectively disbands. He added that he had succeeded in
convincing the CEP to cease any further moves to re-examine
the residency status of some presidential candidates. (Note:

The CEP had on October 11 requested the government's help
soliciting foreign embassies for residency information
regarding 12 presidential candidates. End note.)


3. (C) With one week of intensive meetings under his belt,
Bernard expressed confidence that he could pull elections
preparations together in time for a first round of voting
before Christmas and a transition by February 7. He was
impressed by the planning already undertaken by MINUSTAH and
the OAS and expressed confidence that they could resolve the
remaining logistical challenges with his support. Bernard is
concentrating on further limiting the amount of time
necessary to rule on challenges to the candidates register
and strengthening local electoral office (BEC) and voting
center administration. He said he had obtained the PM's
agreement that he would staff his office from "the best"
personnel from government ministries. Citing their
incompetence, Bernard has refused to employ any of the
current CEP staff.

Candidate Lists on October 28
--------------


4. (C) Bernard said he had secured the Justice Minister's
agreement to drop any challenges to presidential candidates
and allow the CEP to include Dumarsais Simeus and Jean Marie
Cherestal, both of whom won Supreme Court appeals after
having their candidacies rejected by the CEP (ref B). The
CEP was set to publish the final lists of presidential and
national-level candidates on Friday, October 28. The CEP had
to wait until the government published the decree removing
the Supreme Court from the electoral appeals process. The
next edition of the government Monitor comes out on October
27 and Bernard said the CEP would wait one day in order to
ensure that appeals to the Supreme Court did not delay
finalization of the national-level list. Bernard said he
would enlist the support of the PM if the nationality
committee attempted to interfere.

Support/Nationality Committees Still in the Way?
-------------- ---


5. (C) Bernard's claims of the Justice Minister's support
notwithstanding, Dorleans on October 21 re-affirmed the
nationality committee's intention to gather information from
the presidential candidates and prosecute anyone who was not
truthful. (Note: The nationality committee delivered
questionnaires to the presidential candidates the same day.
End Note.) Dorleans' remarks followed President Alexandre's
October 17 speech announcing the formation of the nationality
committee. Using unusually forceful language, Alexandre
attacked the Supreme Court's ruling on Simeus, implied that
Simeus might have bribed its members, and insisted
"foreigners" would be prohibited from taking office. Recent
remarks from members of the support committee Pierre-Richard
Duchemin (CEP) and Danielle Magloire (Council of Wise
Persons) also signaled that the support committee would
continue to play an active role. They announced on October
23 that that voters must present their national identity
cards and would not be able to use their registration
receipts, as previously foreseen.

Comment
--------------


6. (C) Bernard's commitment and energy are impressive, but he
appears still to lack for allies who share his sense of
urgency and focus among CEP members and IGOH officials.
Duchemin and Magloire's statement is especially perplexing,
as it potentially adds another unnecessary hurdle to
elections preparations. At the very least, Bernard will need
the PM to intercede with the nationality and support
committees and order them to back off. Although the PM's
performance to date gives us little confidence, he did
exhibit surprising energy and purpose in recruiting and
installing Bernard. Asked how he had been able to secure CEP
cooperation so far with so little formal authority, Bernard
said he has made clear to everyone that they must accept his
management of the electoral process or he will vacate his
post. Bernard has an immediate test to pass: the CEP must
issue final candidate lists by the end of this week for a
first round to be held before Christmas.
CARNEY