UPDATE: Election official shot in Haiti "by member of ruling president René Préval's party"
April 19, 2009
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©2009 Randall White

UPDATE: Election official shot in Haiti "by member of ruling president René Préval's party"

Important 0100 Update

Haiti Action.net— Wilo Joseph, an election supervisor in Haiti's Central Plateau town of Mirebalais, was shot this morning in sporadic Election Day violence. A gunman — Eddy Pierre Noël — was apprehended according to the spokesman for the National Police (PNH), Gary Desrosiers. Desrosiers claimed that Noël had possession of two pistols and a 9mm rifle. In his vehicle Noël was also in possession of balloting boxes.

In earlier reports Radio Caraibes reported that Noël was a member of Lespwa. Radio Caraibes has, since, taken down that report. It is "unclear" what Noël's political affiliation is, but is likely to come out soon in the Haitian press. LOOK HERE FOR FURTHER UPDATES.

Incidents of unrest were also recorded in the nearby town of Sarazin, where individuals — reportedly from both the Fusion and Lespwa parties — were accusing the other of gunfire and harassment in the voting unrest. Voting "irregularities" were reported even though few voters were seen in the polling centers for voting across the country, during election day.

Senator of the Fusion party, Edmonde Supplice Beauzile, said gunfire from towards the Mirage Hotel — where she had taken refuge — accompanied by two deputies and the Fusion senatorial candidate Chevry Mac-Gregor. The unrest began around 9 am between members of Fusion and Lespwa

Madam Beauzile went on the air of right-wing radio stations and denounced the local elected members of the moderate Lespwa party in power, which she claimed were involved in the armed attacks against the polling centers. In the town of Maissade, the ballots were marked in favor of certain candidates well before the opening of business," said Beauzile.

Regarding the violence, she noted that security provided by the [department of police] — UDMO — "… a vehicle with a license plate maked ""Service of State Department' 01359, whose occupants had 'manu militari' confiscated the election materials at several polling stations."

The national election council (CEP) closed the polls throughout the Central Plateau after parliamentarians reported that individuals associated with the Lespwa and UCADDE parties decided to sabotage the elections after reports of a likely victory by the minority candidate from Fusion. Other sectors felt that the election unrest would lead the "International Community" to call for Haiti to become a UN Protectorate like Kosovo.

The President of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), Gerard S. Verret, announced the cancellation of elections in the Central Plateau, due to the serious incidents that occurred."There are certainly people who are not yet ready for democracy," said Verret who had, ironically, kicked the largest party in the country — Fanmi Lavalas — out of the senatorial elections the day after President Préval met with US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

On the anniversary of the Coup d'État of 2004, thousands of peaceful marchers took to the streets of Port au Prince to protest the spurious actions of the CEP. With its overwhelming majority Fanmi Lavalas senate candidates would have claimed victory in the regions of civil unrest.

The remaining candidates — that were not disqualified by the Préval-appointed members of the CEP — represent less than 20% of the total electorate and will, in most cases, end up in close runoff elections with other minority candidates. This contentious "feeding frenzy" appears to have led to the frantic competition that has now seen the beginning of a new round of violence.

Fanmi Lavalas partisans — Lavalasien — for the most part, stayed home, and most polling places were peaceful, but vacant.

©2009 HaitiAction.net
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see also

Poll projects low voter turnout in Haiti:
Protests ban
ned by Kevin Pina    Apr 16

A call to action

Perverted Priorities: Corpses, sham elections, and sweatshops in Haiti Apr 10

Controversial Senate elections planned in Haiti Apr 6

Fanmi Lavalas: Haiti's largest political party shows no lack of leadership talent Mar2

Thousands march in Haiti demanding return of Aristide Feb 29

Propagandhi: progressive thrash, Haiti and activism on tour Feb 26

Haiti bill calling for investigation of U.S. role in 2004 Coup d'État Feb 5

The rebirth of Konbit in Haiti Dec 17

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