Haiti’s opposition and Senate have rejected a newly formed electoral commission, saying the President Michel Martelly-created body fails to respond to demands of Haitians seeking an inquiry into the Oct. 25 first round presidential vote. Nor does the commission, they say, resolve the post-electoral impasse that has been holding up a presidential runoff. “It doesn’t correspond to what the society has been asking, to what the candidates have been asking; nor does it assure the credibility of the process,” said Senator Jocelerme Privert. “I believe all actors have to begin to think about what’s in the best interest of the nation — peace, security, stability in the first days of 2016. This commission will not provide any of that.” A coalition of eight presidential candidates, dubbed the G8, also issued a statement about the commission, calling it a “cosmetic solution” to the crisis. Members said “it is inconceivable and unacceptable” that the country’s embattled Provisional Electoral Council and executive would work together to force such a solution on them without consulting them.
They called on Haitians, many of whom had been protesting against the vote, to remain mobilized and demanded the resignation of Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) members implicated in a brewing bribery scandal over the sale of legislative posts.
The rejection of the commission came as a swearing-in ceremony for its five members was abruptly postponed Thursday because members were still debating its mandate. “A lot of people think three days is not sufficient,” said Rosny Desroches, the head of a Canada and U.S.-funded local electoral group that observed the balloting.
Desroches was named to the “Electoral Evaluation Commission” by Martelly to shed light on the vote amid allegations of “massive” fraud favoring his handpicked candidate, Jovenel Moïse.