wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09PORTAUPRINCE122 2009-02-06 18:31:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Port Au Prince
Cable title:  

HAITI: ELECTORAL COUNCIL BARS LAVALAS, GUY

Tags:   PGOV PREL PHUM ASEC SNAR HA 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO5284
OO RUEHQU
DE RUEHPU #0122/01 0371831
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 061831Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9478
INFO RUEHZH/HAITI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 2204
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 0311
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 1952
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1776
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PORT AU PRINCE 000122 

SIPDIS

FOR WHA/EX, WHA/CAR, S/CRS, AND INR/IAA
ALSO FOR DS/IP/WHA, INL (KBROWN AND MMCBRIDE)
WHA/EX PLEASE PASS TO USOAS
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ASEC SNAR HA
SUBJECT: HAITI: ELECTORAL COUNCIL BARS LAVALAS, GUY
PHILIPPE FROM SENATORIAL ELECTIONS

REF: A. PORT AU PRINCE 117

B. PORT AU PRINCE 104

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Thomas C. Tighe for reasons 1.4 (b) an
d (d)



1. (SBU) Summary: The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)
announced late February 5 the exclusion of 40 of the 105
prospective candidates that had registered to compete in the
April senatorial elections, including all 16 candidates
representing Fanmi Lavalas. Leaders of Lavalas, the party of
ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, are planning
demonstrations to protest. The CEP also barred indicted drug
trafficker Guy Philippe from the election. A significant
MINUSTAH and Haitian National Police presence is deployed
near the National Palace and CEP headquarters. End summary.

BOTH FACTIONS OF LAVALAS EXCLUDED


--------------------------





2. (C) Near midnight February 5, the Provisional Electoral
Council (CEP) published the list of 65 approved candidates --
out of the original 105 who had registered -- for
participation in the April 19 partial Senate elections. The
CEP disqualified all Fanmi Lavalas (FL) candidates from the
upcoming election. Lavalas was the only major party to have
all of its candidates rejected. All candidates of the Lespwa
coalition (under whose banner Rene Preval won the Presidency
in 2006) and another party close to Preval, the Union of
Haitian Citizens for Democracy, Development, and Education
(UCADDE) were approved.



3. (C) The CEP told the Charge February 3 (ref A) they
rejected the Lavalas candidates because none had submitted an
attestation from official party leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide
authorizing them to represent the party in the upcoming
elections. (Note: The CEP gave parties and candidates until
the afternoon of February 4 to provide additional
information, but Lavalas was either unable or unwilling to
submit documents evidencing Aristide's approval of the
candidates. End note) Internal divisions compounded the
party's problems: in four departments, competing factions of
Lavalas had registered competing candidates for the same
Senate post (ref B). Early Lavalas reaction to the decision
has been mixed: Sen. Rudy Heriveaux called for calm February
6 and asked FL supporters "not to fall into the trap of
violence," while one Lavalas official provocatively compared
the exclusion of FL to the "coup d'etat" that lead to
Aristide's departure in 2004. According to an RSO source, a
demonstration was planned for February 7 in the Champs de
Mars area of the capital, near the National Palace.

GUY PHILIPPE, OTHERS ALSO REJECTED


--------------------------





4. (C) Suspected drug trafficker Guy Philippe (National Front
for Reconstruction -- FRN), currently under indictment in the
United States, was also excluded from the final list of
candidates. (Note: Philippe openly registered for the
elections in Grand'Anse in late January. A prominent local
human rights organization had denounced his candidacy, given
the well established charges against him. End note) Two
other controversial candidates were also rejected: David
Chery (ALAH), convicted of embezzlement in the case of the
"Coeurs Unis" cooperative he directed, and Jocelerme Privert
(Independent), the Lavalas-supported former Minister of
Interior under Aristide. At least two suspected criminals,
however, made it onto the final list, including Emmanuel
Chevry (Fusion), the former Haitian Armed Forces (FAdH)
officer expelled from that institution in 1989 for suspected
drug trafficking, and Moise Jean Charles (Lespwa), an advisor
to President Preval and one-time Lavalas activist implicated
in the violent suppression of anti-Aristide protests in 2003
in Cap Haitien.



5. (SBU) Beside the 16 Fanmi Lavalas candidates and others
with a controversial past, the CEP rejected approximately 20
other candidates for failing to meet the requirements of the
Electoral Law. Nine candidates, for instance, failed to

PORT AU PR 00000122 002 OF 002


submit the required certificate from the Haitian immigration
service verifying that they are not dual nationals, according
to the CEP's spokesman.

POLICE, UN PEACEKEEPERS MAINTAIN ROBUST PRESENCE


--------------------------

---



6. (C) The Haitian National Police (HNP) and MINUSTAH,
including an Indian formed police unit (FPU), have maintained
a robust presence around the CEP headquarters since February


4. CEP counselors have requested HNP and MINUSTAH
protection. Most traffic flowed normally through the streets
of Port-au-Prince the morning of February 6, although the
street in front of the CEP remained blocked. Police presence
in other parts of the capital appeared only slightly above
normal. A Jordanian FPU from MINUSTAH and numerous Haitian
riot police (CIMO) officers were deployed in the CIMO
compound near the National Palace.

LAVALAS MILITANTS PLAN PROTESTS


--------------------------





7. (C) MINUSTAH reports that approximately 40 Lavalas
activists, including Nahoum Marcellus and Rene Civil, met
February 5 in the Belair neighborhood of Port-au-Prince and
decided to mount peaceful daily demonstrations in cities
throughout the country to call for the inclusion of Lavalas
candidates in the upcoming elections. One source indicated
that organizers hope as many as 5,000 protestors may attend a
demonstration February 7 in front of the National Palace.

COMMENT: BUMPY ROAD AHEAD


--------------------------





8. (C) Embassy's reading of the electoral law finds no
provision for appealing the exclusion of candidates at this
stage in the process. Lavalas will not take this decision
laying down. While the party is disunited and decentralized,
their blanket exclusion from the elections will likely cause
them to rally their "popular organizations" in various
Port-au-Prince neighborhoods, and in other large Haitian
cities, to demonstrate their strength and try to force the
government to back down. The exclusion of Guy Philippe, who
has an extensive network of supporters in the Grand'Anse
region, is a possible additional source of volatility in the
Southwest. For the moment, the streets remain quiet, as
Haitian National Police officers and MINUSTAH troops are out
in force.
TIGHE