Categorized | Regional

Haiti After the Vote

Sunday’s elections in Haiti were sullied by low turnout, polling-place confusion and accusations of voter intimidation, ballot stuffing and other fraud. But for all those flaws, international observers from the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community agree with Haiti’s national election council, which has declared that the election was fundamentally sound.

Twelve of Haiti’s 18 presidential candidates were unpersuaded on Election Day when they declared — without evidence, and before the polls had closed — that the voting had been hopelessly tainted and should be canceled. Two of them — Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady, and the musician Michel Martelly — backed away on Monday, perhaps because they seem to be the two front-runners heading toward a runoff in January.

Re-running elections this large — not just for president, but for 11 members of the 30-member Senate and the entire 99-member lower house of Parliament — would lead to months more of confusion and government inaction.

Unless compelling evidence of fraud is found, it is not necessary and clearly not in Haiti’s interest.

Right now, election officials need to press ahead with an open and honest vote count. International monitors need to keep a close watch and quickly revise their assessment if they see serious problems.

Preliminary results are expected Dec. 7. If no presidential candidate gets 50 percent of the vote — likely given the size of the field — then everyone involved needs to learn from Sunday’s problems and work a lot harder to minimize chaos in the next round. The election council needs to do a much better job of getting out the word on where and how to vote. Poll workers need more training.

Eleven months after the devastating earthquake, more than a million people are still displaced. The country is also struggling to contain a cholera epidemic. The new government will have to clear the many roadblocks that have slowed the rebuilding effort. And it will have to tackle a host of other reforms: modernizing the electoral system and constitution; unclogging bureaucracies and legal requirements that stifle business and investment; overhauling cruel and ineffective courts and prisons.

Haitians, whose patience has already been grievously tested, need to believe that their next leaders were legitimately elected. That appears to be the case. Haitians also need for those leaders to get on with the business of governing and rebuilding. There is no more time to waste.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Sunday’s elections in Haiti were sullied by low turnout, polling-place confusion and accusations of voter intimidation, ballot stuffing and other fraud. But for all those flaws, international observers from the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community agree with Haiti’s national election council, which has declared that the election was fundamentally sound.

Twelve of Haiti’s 18 presidential candidates were unpersuaded on Election Day when they declared — without evidence, and before the polls had closed — that the voting had been hopelessly tainted and should be canceled. Two of them — Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady, and the musician Michel Martelly — backed away on Monday, perhaps because they seem to be the two front-runners heading toward a runoff in January.

Re-running elections this large — not just for president, but for 11 members of the 30-member Senate and the entire 99-member lower house of Parliament — would lead to months more of confusion and government inaction.

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Unless compelling evidence of fraud is found, it is not necessary and clearly not in Haiti’s interest.

Right now, election officials need to press ahead with an open and honest vote count. International monitors need to keep a close watch and quickly revise their assessment if they see serious problems.

Preliminary results are expected Dec. 7. If no presidential candidate gets 50 percent of the vote — likely given the size of the field — then everyone involved needs to learn from Sunday’s problems and work a lot harder to minimize chaos in the next round. The election council needs to do a much better job of getting out the word on where and how to vote. Poll workers need more training.

Eleven months after the devastating earthquake, more than a million people are still displaced. The country is also struggling to contain a cholera epidemic. The new government will have to clear the many roadblocks that have slowed the rebuilding effort. And it will have to tackle a host of other reforms: modernizing the electoral system and constitution; unclogging bureaucracies and legal requirements that stifle business and investment; overhauling cruel and ineffective courts and prisons.

Haitians, whose patience has already been grievously tested, need to believe that their next leaders were legitimately elected. That appears to be the case. Haitians also need for those leaders to get on with the business of governing and rebuilding. There is no more time to waste.