Cablegate: Haiti Elections Update - June 9

Published: Thu 9 Jun 2005 11:41 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Haiti elections update - June 9
Ref: A) PAP 1537, B) Tokyo 3020, C) Oslo 868, D) Ottawa 1734, E) USEU TBD
Registration process moves forward
1. 27 registration centers are now open, 39 more will open
"within the next few days," and another 140 or so are being
refurbished by UNOPS in order to be opened by June 15,
according to UN and OAS officials. These last include a
registration center in Delmas and one in Petionville (both
in the capital) and several others in the provinces that are
also slated to be communal-level election offices (BECs)
after registration. One registration center was opened in
the Prime Minister's office on June 6, and the PM registered
before he departed for New York.
2. The most recent unofficial estimate from the OAS is that
nearly 120,000 voters have been registered.
Elections calendar
3. (SBU) The electoral calendar has still not been
finalized by the CEP and submitted to the government (ref
A). Privately, some officials tell us this is not hampering
the registration effort, and that holding off on publishing
the electoral calendar might be useful if a consensus is
reached to change the election dates by a few weeks.
4. (U) MINUSTAH elections chief LeChevallier told us that
Spain had pledged to provide 300,000 Euros (approx.
$369,000) to the OAS to support its registration efforts,
and that France (through its Embassy here) had pledged the
same amount for the post-election "consolidation" of the CEP
(reorganizing it for post-election tasks). We shared with
LeChevallier Norwegian and Japanese promises of support
(refs B and C). LeChevallier said he would be meeting with
Japanese assistance officials this week to follow up on
their interest in funding the three specific projects noted
in ref B. Regarding EU funding (ref E), LeChevallier said
the CEP had provided a letter to the EU representative here
pledging that it would implement the steps outlined in
Canadian expert Ron Gould's recent assessment mission.
This, he hoped, would be sufficient to allow the EU to
release its promised additional tranche of 8 million Euros
(approx. $9.79 million). (Our thanks to colleagues in Oslo,
Tokyo, Ottawa, and Brussels for timely reporting!)
Legal framework still in development
5. The decree establishing the legal basis for the voter
registration card as an identity card remains stalled at the
Justice Ministry. According to CEP member Duchemin, MOJ
Gousse insists that the institutional responsibility for
overseeing the ID card process, once the elections are past,
be established within the MOJ, not within the CEP as the
decree currently states. This issue will need to be
resolved before the decree is published.
6. The Prime Minister's office circulated earlier this month
a "memo" outlining a possible program of financial support
to political parties. LeChevallier told us MINUSTAH has
suggested that the program needs stronger oversight controls
and transparency, and that ultimately this must also be
issued as an IGOH decree with the force of law.
Another Presidential candidate
7. (U) Rigaud Duplan, former head of the Haitian Bar
Association, announced his candidacy for President June 5 in
Jacmel. Duplan, who served as lawyer to former General
Prosper Avril and to former Senator Dany Toussaint, was one
of the lawyers who represented the ex-FADH in negotiations
last fall with the IGOH. He is strongly pro-Army and threw
his hat in the ring as the head of a new, independent
organization called "Justice, Peace, and National
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