doc. 9 rev. 1
September 1988
Original: English





... continued



70.          Further, the Provisional Electoral Council stated that it alone was mandated by the Constitution to take a decision as regards the qualifications of an electoral candidate and that its decisions were final and not subject to judicial review.  Underscoring its constitutional supremacy in electoral matters, the Provisional Electoral Council stated that it, alone, was authorized to draw up its internal regulations and its method of voting since the Constitution declares it to be an independent institution.  Therefore, the decree of the CNG, which provides that two-thirds of the members must vote in favor in order for the CEP to take a decision, and states that decisions of the Provisional Electoral Council are appealable to a court, would deprive the CEP of its autonomous status.  The CNG's decree, in the opinion of the Provisional Electoral Council, would place the Electoral Council at the level of a lower court in the hierarchy of the judicial branch of government which is not in conformity with the Constitution.  This provision is particularly significant in light of Article 291 of the Constitution concerning the qualification or disqualification of former Duvalierists.  According to the Provisional Electoral Council, the CEP alone is empowered to determine who fulfills the requirements for candidacy for elections to public office.


          71.          On May 22, 1987, the members of the Provisional Electoral Council made public this letter to the CNG; and on May 30, 1987, the first half of the CEP's Electoral Law was published in the press to stimulate debate and suggestions from the public.  The Electoral Law was submitted by the Electoral Council to the Ministry of Justice on Friday, June 5, 1987.


          72.          On June 15, 1987, the members of the Provisional Electoral Council called a press conference to express their concern regarding the silence on the part of the CNG concerning the promulgation of the Electoral Law submitted to the Minister of Justice on June 5, 1987, and to announce that in view of the delay the elections planned for July could not be carried out.  The dispute over the control of the elections was well on its way to assuming crisis proportions.


          73.          On June 19, 1987, the Centrale autonome des travailleurs haïtiens (CATH) called a strike for June 22 and 23.  The proposed CATH strike had no immediate connection with the electoral crisis, however, that same day the CNG published its own Electoral Law and announced that municipal elections would be held on August 23.  These acts undermined the independence of the CEP.


          74.          On June 22, 1987, the transport sector completely supported CATH in its call for a strike and Port-au-Prince was virtually paralyzed.  By decree dated June 23, the CNG dissolved CATH, destroyed its headquarters and arrested three of its leaders.  The political parties and social organizations united in repudiation of the CNG's action and the CNG was called upon to repeal its electoral decree.


          75.          On June 29 and 30, 1987, the Coordination committee of the Group of 57, a coalition of grassroots organizations, called a strike for the abrogation of the CNG's decree and the dissolution of CATH.  Four people were killed and at least two dozen others injured in Cité Soleil in clashes between the Army and anti-Government demonstrators.  This second general strike again virtually paralyzed Port-au-Prince.  The CNG's Electoral Law was criticized by opponents of the regime for placing supervision of the elections in the hands of the Ministry of the Interior, which had been in charge of the October elections and the March referendum, and it relegated the CEP to the position of a "filing" office for the results of the municipal elections and the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in November.  


     76.          The political and popular organizations joined forces against the CNG which they charged with acting as a dictatorship.  The President of the CNG, Lt. Gen. Namphy, sought to allay those fears and in a televised speech he renewed his pledge to lead Haiti to democratic elections.  Since Lt. Gen. Namphy did not restore the independence of the CEP, the opposition political leaders called for a renewal of the strikes and the focus shifted from the independence of the CEP  to the larger issue of the ouster of the CNG.


          77.          On July 1, 1987, Port-au-Prince reportedly looked like a battlefield after two days of a general strike marked by violent clashes between soldiers and demonstrators that resulted in the death of 10 persons, 57 injured and numerous arrests.  The demonstrators demanded an end to the CNG.  On July 1, 1987, the strike was suspended and the people stocked up on supplies.  The next day the strike resumed, demonstrators burned barricades in the streets, the city of Port-au-Prince was again paralyzed and the violence continued to escalate with numerous dead and wounded.


          78.          As a consequence of these events, on July 2, 1987, the CNG annulled its decree whereby it had tried to seize control of the electoral process, and Information Minister Jacques Lorthe, who had taken a hard line position, was forced to resign.  Two people were reported shot and killed by soldiers in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, however, the clashes throughout the country were said to be less severe than during the first two days of the strike.  Following the CNG's restoration of control to the Electoral Council, the CEP immediately announced that it would begin drafting a new program for conducting elections.


          79.          Mr. Jean-Claude Bajeux, a leader of the Group of 57, stated on July 3, 1987, that the CNG should reorganize itself or resign.  He said that the only solution would be a reorganized CNG consisting of two civilian and one military members but, as it stood, it was unacceptably dominated by the armed forces.  Mr. Bajeux stated that protests would continue until Lt. Gen. Namphy and Gen. Williams Regala resign.  In fact, the demonstrations did continue in Port-au-Prince, until soldiers shot straight into the crowds and killed seven demonstrators.


          80.          On July 4, 1987, the Provisional Electoral Council announced that it would suspend negotiations with the CNG due to the "barbaric acts" attributed to the army during the five days of demonstrations.  The suspension of negotiations between the CEP and the CNG further isolated the CNG as political, labor and civic organizations called for a strike to force the members of the CNG to resign.


          81.          On July 8, 1987 Haitians returned to work at the end of an 8 day anti-government strike.  Soldiers had killed approximately 22 persons and wounded 135.  The representatives of the Group of 57, who had organized the strike, called a press conference in which they decreed on July 9, 1987 a day of mourning for those who had been killed.


          82.          On July 12, 1987, the Coordination Committee of the Group of 57 again proposed a "people's alternative" to the CNG, suggesting a replacement of the current members with representatives of the "democratic sectors" and a member of the Army's general staff.  The Coordination Committee stated that Monday and Tuesday, July 13 and 14, would be the days to organize the second phase of the battle against the CNG.  The Committee called on the people who represented the CNG - the prefects, magistrates, commissioners, information agents, members of the Administrative Councils, - to resign and to come over to the side of the people.


          83.          Against this background of political and social upheaval, the Provisional Electoral Council on July 14 published its Electoral Decree and set November 29 as the date for the presidential elections.  The CEP's decree provides, in Article 88-2, for "Vigilance Brigades", the role of which is to remain neutral and to maintain order, to prevent the coercion of voters and to assist voters in finding their respective polling places.


          84.          On July 15, 1987, Haiti was again totally paralyzed by a new general strike called by the Group of 57 which continued to demand the resignation of the Government headed by Lt. Gen. Namphy.  Bishop Romelus of Jeremie joined the strike, took up the slogan Rache Manyok (lit. "uproot the manioc and move on") and openly called on Namphy to resign.


          85.          On July 24, 1987, the CNG, in an attempt to stop 4 weeks of violent anti-government protests and demonstrations, issued a decree requiring that demonstrators obtain a 72-hour prior authorization to hold a demonstration and that the organizers of the strikes be identified.


          86.          Following the massacre of approximately 300 peasants in the locality of Jean Rabel, the Group of 57 again called upon its members to demonstrate against the Tontons Macoutes and the CNG.


          87.          After weeks of strikes which attempted to bring down the CNG, the Government finally promulgated the CEP's Electoral Law on August 10, 1987, and promised the CEP the finances required in its budget.  November 29 was set as the date for the presidential and legislative elections, but no date was set for municipal and communal elections.    


e.       The Continuing Struggle between the CNG and the CEP for Control of the
          November 29, 1987 Elections


          88.          As mentioned in the Commission's 1986-1987 Annual Report, acts of violence during the latter half of 1987 became routine daily occurrences.


          89.          By mid-October death squads and vigilante killers were operating with impunity on a nightly basis and speculation was rife that the army would use the violence as a pretext to cancel the elections.  Bodies of persons who had been killed were left on the streets to serve as a warning to others.  In the face of this growing violence the members of the CEP publicly called upon the military government to provide security so that the elections could take place.  The CNG replied that it would do something about the violence if the CEP could identify those responsible.  In a letter of October 16, 1987 the CNG claimed that administrative assistance would violate the spirit of neutrality expected of the Government.


          90.          In Mid-October the Duvalierists again declared themselves in the race for the presidency.  On October 13, 1987, former Duvalier Finance Minister, Clovis Desinor, and former Interior Minister and Chief of Staff, Claude Raymond, declared their candidacies for the presidency; they stated that the CEP questionnaire regarding a candidate's Duvalierist past was unjust and could lead to "civil war", "an outcome for which only the CEP would be responsible".  The CNG, in spite of the express constitutional mandate of the CEP, ruled that all Duvalierists intending to run for the presidency be given a "discharge", a kind of amnesty, for any financial irregularities during their time of service to the Duvalier regimes.


          91.          On November 2, 1987 the CEP, pursuant to Article 291 of the Constitution, determined that twelve former associates of the Duvaliers were ineligible to run, among the 12 candidacies rejected were several former ministers under the Duvalier regime - Messrs. Clovis Desinor, Herve Boyer, Edouard Francisque - and two former Army chiefs of staff:  retired Generals Jean Baptiste Hilaire and Claude Raymond.41


          92.          That same night, in retaliation, twelve armed men blocked off Rue Pavée at the former offices of the Minoterie d'Haiti where the headquarters of the CEP were located, they fired rounds of ammunition in the air to scare any bystanders, chiseled through heavy metal shutters to enter the premises and set fire to the building, destroying the headquarters and most of its records.  According to reports, on the "first floor of the downtown council headquarters, fire consumed thousands of posters calling on Haitians to vote in the November 29 elections, copies of the election law, books, banners and leaflets".42  This act of arson occurred within a few hundred yards of the police headquarters, yet the police conducted no investigation.


          93.          Another fire occurred in the intersection between Rue des Casernes and Grand Rue at the "Continental Trading Company", a store belonging to Mr. Emmanuel Ambroise, a member of the CEP.  In addition, the headquarters of Rev. Sylvio Claude's Haitian Christian Democratic Party (PDCG) were riddled by bullets fired by armed commandos.  Rev. Claude stated that there was no loss of life, but much damage was done since all the windows were shattered.


          94.          Mr. Jean Robert Sabalat, the Director of the Departamental Electoral Office (BED) for the Department of the West, informed Col. Carl Nicolas that on November 2, a group of unidentified individuals fired on the BED/West's Office at Delmas 30, A.  They wounded the night watchman, André Clemard, and damaged the building's main facade.  Mr. Sabalat requested Col. Nicolas to order security measures for the BED/West office and for the Communal Electoral Office (BECs).


          95.          Mr. Emmanuel Ambroise's home in Morne Hecules, Petionville, was attacked and destroyed by fire.  Pursuant to reports, three unidentified individuals arrived in a jeep without license plates and tried to set fire to the CEP jeep parked in the yard of Mr. Emmanuel Ambroise's house.  They then tried to break into the house but the people of Morne Hercules mobilized to stop them.  Witnesses tried to call the police, the army barracks, and the leopards and they were reportedly laughed at.


          96.          The "Imprimerie Natal" one of the three printing shops that was handling CEP orders for ballots, posters and other electoral materials was set ablaze destroying tons of ballot paper, voter registration cards, and voter education leaflets, and during the following days regional electoral offices around the country were attacked with machinegun fire.


          97.          The CEP announced on November 3, 1987, that the municipal elections and the elections for Administrative Councils for the Communal Sections (CASEC) would be postponed until December 20, 1987 due to administrative difficulties and the climate of fear.  Rev. Alain Rocourt, Chairman of the Methodist Church and the treasurer of the CEP stated that "We've written two letters to the National Governing Council asking for police security, since we have been receiving daily death threats.  We've received no response".


          98.          The headquarters of the presidential candidates Sylvio Claude, Marc Bazin, Grégoire Eugene and Leslie Manigat were reportedly sprayed with gunfire.  On November 12, 1987, Mr. Louis Dejoie's headquarter's in St. Marc were set ablaze and the St. Marc offices of the candidates Marc Bazin, Leslie Manigat and François Latortue were ransacked.


          99.          The CNG released a communiqué promising an investigation of the circumstances which resulted in the fire at the CEP headquarters.  The investigating committee was to be composed of Col. Morton Gousse, Lt. Col. Rene Mompoint and Ms. Anacita Duperval of the Ministry of Interior and National Defense.  To the present, August 1988, no report has yet been issued.


          100.          Mr. Clovis Desinor was the first candidate to react to the rejection of his candidacy.  Mr. Desinor stated that the CEP's decision constituted a flagrant violation of the Electoral Law of August 10, 1987 in that Article 62 of the law requires that the committee of the BEC or the BED will invite the contested candidate to come into the office to defend himself and to come up with proof to contradict the decision within 48 hours.  Mr. Desinor stated that he never was allowed to defend himself and that he was notified of the decision over the air.  He demanded that the CEP inform him of the criteria used to judge his case, "especially since the decision was dictated by a foreign power and this constitutes meddling in the internal affairs of the country".43


                101.          On November 6, 1987, Lt. Gen. Namphy proclaimed himself Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for a period of three years, pursuant to new military regulations which reorganized the Haitian Armed Forces.  The Haitian Constitution provides that the President is the nominal head of the Armed Forces (Art. 143) and his only authority over the Army is his power to name a Commander-in-Chief (Article 141).  Lt. Gen. Namphy's self-appointment as Commander-in-Chief effectively preempted the future President from appointing his own choice as Commander-in-Chief.  On November 12, 1987, Brigadier General Williams Regala was promoted to Major-General in the Haitian Armed Forces and Assistant Commander-in-Chief.  In addition, it was reported that the Haitian Army had grown from 6,500 to 10,000 men in 18 months.


          102.          Also on November 6, 1987, the Ambassadors from France, West Germany, the U.S. and Canada, in a written statement, reaffirmed their support for the electoral process and called upon the CNG to provide protection to the CEP.  In response, the French Restaurant La Cascade in Petionville was burned down as was a U.S. factory under construction in Port-au-Prince.


          103.          On November 9, 1987, the OAS Secretary General, Joao Clemente Baena Soares, expressed by letter to Lt. Gen. Namphy the serious concern of the OAS Member States regarding the "regrettable events" occurring in Haiti which might endanger the electoral process.


          104.          By November 8, 1987, the date voter registration closed, and in spite of the climate of violence, the CEP with the assistance of 30,000 volunteers had managed to register 2,246,000 voters, estimated at 73% of the electorate.


          105.          Two weeks before the elections the papers documented the daily toll of assassinations, disappearances and kidnappings.  Le Nouvelliste on November 13, 1987, described the day's toll just prior to the elections as follows:



1.       On the Mgr. Guilloux Street in Port-au-Prince a man was killed at 6 a.m.


2.       On the Remparts Street a young boy was found dead bathed in his own blood the day before yesterday.


3.       On certain radio stations in the capital mothers and fathers report the disappearance of a family member.


4.       The last disappeared is named Samuel Noel, 20 years; he left his home Friday November 6 and has not been seen since.


5.       A curfew seems to have taken effect in Port-au-Prince as of 10 p.m.  The streets are deserted.


6.       The members of the Departmental and Communal Electoral Bureaux (BED)  (BEC) are subject to attacks even in their own private residences.  The offices of the political parties have been sacked, pillaged and burned.


7.       Even the jeeps used by the BED have not been saved from arson.


8.       In Saint Marc it is reported that every night bursts of gunfire are heard.



106.          On November 13, 1987, the CNG, in its first offer of logistical support, announced that the public schools would be made available to be used as polling places, but it refused to provide government trucks, jeeps or helicopters, or to facilitate transportation of voting materials.  Some efforts on the part of the CNG to provide security to presidential candidates were also noted, as for example, when Mr. Gerard Gourgue visited the locality of Jeremie, he was escorted by several soldiers.


          107.          Six days before the elections, on November 23, the Marche Salomon, one of Port-au-Prince's largest open air markets, was burned down during a twelve-hour rampage that killed at least two persons and left more than 30 injured.  Reportedly, while uniformed soldiers and police stayed in their barracks, armed bands roamed through the streets for about two hours before dawn firing volleys into the air in a half-dozen areas of Port-au-Prince.  It was also reported that the assailants shouted "Long live the Army" and "Down with the CEP".  These slogans appeared in red letters all over Port-au-Prince the following day.


          108.          On November 24, 1987, the body of an unidentified man was dumped in front of the home of the presidential candidate Gerard Gourgue.


          109.          In Gonaives, November 24, 1987 was considered "a dark night" due to the violence that occurred during the night.  The shooting reportedly began at 1:00 a.m. with a blackout in two or three neighborhoods.  The first target attacked was the BED office located a few meters from the Toussaint Louverture Barracks.  Some 35 bullets were fired at the BED.


          110.          The second target, at approximately 1:45 a.m. was the residence of BED President, Luciano Pharaon, on rue Fabre Geffrard, where 18 bullets were fired.  Bullets pierced the walls and entered the house as well as shattering the windows of his residence.  Shooting continued all over town during the night.


          111.          On November 24, 1987, Dr. Ernst Mirville, addressed the Haitian people on Radio Soleil, in the name of the CEP: 


                   In organizing these elections, pursuant to the Constitution of 1987, the CEP and the Haitian people encountered many difficulties because a small number of people have reached an understanding among themselves to prevent the people from going and voting and choosing its leaders democratically.  Here are some of the problems we have encountered.  We need soldiers to guard all CEP offices.  We need trucks to take materials out into the provinces.  To this day, we have not received them.  We asked for helicopters to help carry the ballots to places where the roads are very bad.  We have not been given them.  The CEP has been wanting to address the population over national television for a while now.  The national television station didn't give us a chance to do so.  Today, 24 November, they told us they could receive us but that we had to pay them more than $2,080 for 1 hour of air time.  We didn't think we would have to pay anything at all since the television station belongs to the Haitian people and the elections are the people's business.


                   We have a problem of transportation.  We need trucks and other vehicles and we need guards for them, in order to get the ballots to the provinces.  We need security for the polling stations.  A group of people with weapons are setting fires and attacking the electoral offices and killing people in them.


                   We are asking the people to help us solve these problems.  The people in Carrefour Feuilles and in Lamentin 54 have risen up to prevent disorder.  This is a beautiful example.  We ask everyone to tell us what he can do and to get together with the CEP everywhere.44 


          112.          The anti-election violence subsided as neighborhood defense groups began to be formed to ensure that the elections would take place.  On November 25, 1987, vigilante groups lynched four men suspected of anti-election terrorism.


          113.          On November 26, 1987, three days before the elections, the Army was brought out and eight dead bodies were found on the streets as a result of the nightly clashes.  The Army, which had remained in its barracks as the anti-election terror campaign spread fear throughout Haiti, began to patrol the streets after the neighborhood defense groups took over the security function and lynched four people, two of whom were identified as plainclothes police officers.


          114.          General Regala issued a communiqué on November 25, 1987, ordering the vigilance brigades to disband.  He reminded the citizenry that the Haitian Armed Forces had direct and exclusive responsibility for maintaining order and that no group or association that attempted to set itself up as a substitute to the Armed forces would be tolerated.  He criticized the vigilance brigades for sowing confusion and thereby making the task of the security forces more difficult.  In conclusion, Gen. Regala's communiqué called upon the population to remain calm and not to undertake any action which might obstruct, rather than facilitate, keeping order.


          115.          On November 28, 1987, Gen. Regala suspended all firearm permits issued to date except for those in the hands of the Haitian Armed Forces, "to whom the law and the Constitution have entrusted the sacred mission of ensuring the integrity of the national territory and the security of lives and property', according to the communiqué issued.45


          116.          Having failed to receive governmental assistance to transport the voting materials, the CEP rented two helicopters in Miami to assist in the distribution of ballots to remote regions in Haiti.  Gen. Regala refused to grant flight permits to the CEP's helicopters citing security reasons.  In addition, despite an explicit request, the Army refused to intervene when, for a second day, a group of approximately 15 armed men blocked election vehicles at Freycineau, which was attempting to deliver ballots to the northern region of Haiti.  As a consequence the CEP was forced to postpone the elections in five towns to which ballots had not been delivered.  The military government also refused to allow the CEP to explain election procedures on the radio, in spite of the fact that it allocated television time to be barred Duvalierist candidates who continued their campaigns and used the television time to assail the CEP.






a.       The Failure of the Army to Maintain Security


          117.          Despite the communiqué of CNG member Maj. Gen. Williams Regala that keeping order is the "direct and exclusive" responsibility of the Haitian Armed Forces, what were supposed to be the first free elections in thirty years had to be called off because of the rampage of paramilitary forces, who, according to the official toll, had killed 34 persons and wounded 75, although unofficial reports were significantly higher.


          118.          The Army failed to deploy any of its troops to ensure order, and the process of the derailment of the elections began approximately at one o'clock during the night of November 28-29, as bands of gunmen roamed the streets by car, shooting at random, and setting fire to three precinct electoral offices and a gas station.  Reportedly, one giant blaze lit the sky in Port-au-Prince for almost an hour.


          119.          That night, a hand grenade ripped open the façade of Radio Haiti-Inter and a spray of bullets shattered the windows at Radio Antilles International.  According to witnesses, 16 men in army uniforms destroyed the transmitter of Radio Soleil, the Roman Catholic radio station.  Also, the home of Rev. Alain Rocourt, the head of the Methodist Church in Haiti and the CEP treasurer, was attacked by two jeep loads of soldiers who tossed 7-9 hand grenades into the house and whose machinegun fire resulted in 200 UZI shells being found the next morning around the house.  The attack began at approximately 3:30 in the morning and lasted approximately 20 minutes while members of the Rocourt family hid inside in terror.  Witnesses testified that they saw twenty to thirty uniformed soldiers, and when the family attempted to phone for help they found that the phone was dead, not from lines having been cut, but rather service had been cut off by the telephone company, evidence that the attack had been well planned before hand.


          120.          Four churches were attacked, including the Cathedral, and in the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church several dozen people, who were attending mass, were assaulted and beaten by gunmen.  The Church courtyard had been designated a polling place.


          121.          The shootings intensified after the polls opened at 6 a.m.  Six thousand polling stations were scheduled to accommodate 500 voters each.  At the Argentine School on the ruelle Vaillant in downtown Port-au-Prince, about 100 voters were in line waiting to vote when they were attacked by a mob of 50-60 men with rifles and machetes who, according to the New York Times, "rushed the panicked voters" "hacking with machetes and firing guns indiscriminately into the frenzied crowd".46   Fifteen people were killed immediately.  The voters fled into the school where several "were dismembered with machetes or shot to death".  The killers, according to witnesses, moved from classroom to classroom, killing their victims.  Many were shot huddled together and others lay sprawled in pools of blood.


          122.          When journalists arrived they reported finding the courtyard awash with blood and 10 mutilated bodies piled in a corner.  According to one journalist present, "a gray jeep carrying helmeted Army soldiers drove up to the door and the troops opened fire again into the polling place courtyard."47


          123.          At another polling place, also in a school, Dominican cameraman Carlos Grullón was shot in the abdomen at close range, reportedly by soldiers, and died a few hours later.  His colleagues and other witnesses testified that he stood with his hands raised, shouting that he was a journalist.  A uniformed soldier reportedly shot him three times.  British journalist Geoffrey Smith was shot in the leg and Swiss journalist Graba Thuller was wounded in the back.


          124.          Also, reportedly "target of deliberate attack from gunmen, some in Army uniform, was a U.S. television news team, three members of which were seriously wounded - a Haitian, a Mexican and a Salvadoran - and while they lay bleeding after being shot at point blank range, the gunmen returned and stripped them of their valuables, including their camera equipment, and shot the Haitian again".48


            125.          It was reported that at least 34 persons were killed, although the Roman Catholic Primate of St. Lucia, Archbishop Kelvin Felix, present as an election observer, reported that the actual number might be as high as 200.


          126.          Despite the violence, many people succeeded in voting before the CEP called off the elections.  Observers reported that the role of the Army varied in different parts of the country:  "in Jacmel soldiers protected polling stations whereas in Port-au-Prince military units passively or actively sided with the killer squads and roads to the north were blocked by military units, preventing delivery of ballot papers and other election material".  In Gonaives, Haiti's third largest city, almost no one was permitted to make it to the polls:  uniformed soldiers reportedly drove through the streets shooting at residents and driving them back into their homes.


          127.          On the day of the elections, CEP members, Ernst Mirville (President), Rev. Alain Rocourt and Emmanuel Ambroise were forced into hiding.  Another member, Pierre Labissiere left the country.  He has since returned and is now head of the Haitian Bar Association.  Mr. Mirville has described members of the CEP as "walking dead men".  The electoral council blamed the violence on the government.49   The CEP postponed the elections while thousands of Haitians were still waiting to vote.  Their message to the Haitian people was expressed in the following communiqué: 


                   In spite of the determined will of the people of different social classes who have overwhelmingly participated in the presidential legislative elections scheduled for Sunday, November 29, the CEP has decided to postpone the elections to a later date applicable to the whole national territory.  This action is motivated by the numerous acts of disturbances of all kinds perpetrated by criminals who visibly seem to be assured of immunity.  The CEP asks the public not to continue to expose themselves to the barbarous Duvalierist acts and to remain within their homes, all the while jealously guarding their elections cards, which are the principal weapon in the fight for democracy.  The CEP emphasizes, to national as well as international opinion, that it was unable to obtain from the competent authorities the general security conditions demanded and indispensable for honest and free elections to take place.  The CEP sympathizes with the wounded, and extends its condolences to the relatives of the voters who were killed in a cowardly manner.50 


b.       The Dissolution of the Provisional Electoral Council


          128.          Although the CEP had only postponed the elections as a result of the rampage of violence, the CNG at 3 p.m. that same day dissolved the independent Electoral Council accusing it of having set itself up as a "supreme power" and inviting foreign powers to meddle "in the country's domestic affairs".  Lt. Gen. Namphy announced that the CNG would organize another round of balloting and, as scheduled, would inaugurate a president by February 7, 1988.


          129.          Hundreds of foreign journalists and representatives of governments and civic and human rights group were in Haiti to observe the elections.  News of the election day massacre was broadcast and chronicled around the world.


          130.          The members of the CEP refused to accept Lt. Gen. Namphy's order to disband and from their clandestine redoubts the CEP members issued a communiqué which called the Government's action "illegal" and "unconstitutional" and stated that any election organized without them would be "null and void".  It was reported in the press that "a decree calling for the dissolution of the electoral Council was prepared at the National Palace five days before the election".51


          131.          Rev. Sylvio Claude, one of the leading presidential candidates, in a cable addressed to the OAS and to the UN dated December 2, 1987, stated that he had obtained 90% of the votes cast during the two and a half hours of the elections, before they were "brutally suspended by the hideous carnage perpetrated by the CNG's arms against the Haitian people".52   Rev. Claude called this a "usurpation" of his party's victory and an attack on the nascent Haitian democracy: 


                   Who profits from this crime against the Haitian nation?  The CNG, the Duvalierists, the criminals who are guaranteed impunity by the CNG.  Certain small groups of people, certain candidates rejected by the Haitian people want the CNG, guilty of criminal negligence, to reorganize the elections which failed because of their bad faith.  We know very well that in Haiti the Armed Forces have too often falsified the election results in order to name the candidate or candidates of their choice.  The CNG had the radio stations blown up to impede the dissemination of the news…  even yesterday the Armed Forces troops in vehicles of Henri Namphy and Williams Regala arrested and killed peaceful citizens, men and children, at Portail Leogane, Carrefour-Feuilles, Savanne-Pistache. 


          132.          Rev. Claude, fearing a "provisional CNG for life" called upon the international community to aid the Haitian people, "who are without arms and who are menaced by their own Government."  He called upon the United Nations and the OAS to "exercise the greatest pressure on the CNG in order that the three members of the CNG cede their positions to a new National Governing Council, with all deliberate speed".  In addition, he called for "a multinational force to protect the Haitian people against the CNG, and the Duvalierists and to guarantee free and fair elections in Haiti, until the time the new government democratically elected by the Haitian people, takes its oath of office".


          133.          Rev. Claude stated that "a neighbor who passes and sees a father, without faith, an outlaw, deliberately killing his wife and children, has the right to intervene to save the life of the human beings in peril.  The Haitian people intervened in the battle of Savannah in order to aid the U.S. in its struggle for independence.  Today all the nations of the world, such as the U.S., France, Canada, together with Israel, pursue the Nazi criminals for the crime of genocide.  Haitians fought on the side of Simon Bolivar for the liberation of Venezuela.  Why do the democratic nations fail to assist the Haitian people in ridding themselves of the CNG and the Duvalierists?"


          134.          Lt. Gen. Namphy blamed the failure of the elections on the CEP, charging that it had overextended itself, violated the Constitution and invited foreign powers to interfere in internal Haitian affairs.  This reference to the meddling of foreign powers echoed Mr. Desinor's attack on the CEP (supra para. 46).  Most of the population, however, blamed the Tontons Macoutes for the violence, and reportedly several well-known macoutes had come out of hiding and were again walking around Port-au-Prince in broad daylight.  A Haitian journalist was quoted as observing that "[T]he return of the Tontons Macoutes is total".53




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41.          The C.E.P. accepted 23 candidacies:  Gerard Philippe Auguste, Raymond Edouard Bastien, Marc Louis Bazin, Sylvio C. Claude, Louis Dejoie II, Hubert De Ronceray, Thomas Desulme, Jean Arnold Dumas, Hector Estime, Grégoire Eugene, Gerard Gourgue, Lamartiniere Honorat, Richard Vladimir Jeanty, Dieuville Joseph, Franck Joseph, François Latortue, François Magloire, Leslie Manigat, Hugo Noel, Arnold Principal, Camille D. Sylaire, Rene Theodore, and Lysias Verret.

          42.          The Washington Post, Pierre Yves Glass:  "Election Council Office Burned in Haiti," November 4, 1987.

43.          See, FBIS 4 November, 1987.  As proof, Mr. Desinor went on to say that a message in English, which he claims was addressed to members of foreign missions in Haiti and their families announced that the CEP was going to reject certain candidates that weekend and that violent reactions could be expected, and in conclusion urging that foreign missions be prudent.

Mr. Claude Raymond appealed the CEP's decision regarding his candidacy before a judge sitting in chambers.  Mr. Desinor also took the CEP's decision to the Superior Audit Office (Cour Superieur des Comptes) alleging that the decision constitutes an abuse of power.  Article 63 of the Electoral law and Article 197 of the 1987 Constitution stipulate that the CEP  is supreme in electoral matters and that its decisions cannot be appealed to a court.

44.          See, FBIS  27 November 1987.

45.          See, FBIS 30 November 1987.


46.          Howard French:  "100 Haitians, Trying to vote, Are Caught in Vast 'Blood Bath'".  The New York Times, November 30, 1987.

47.          According to Jean-Bernard Diederich, a freelance photographer working for Time Magazine.  See, also "Haitian Vote halted After Killing

48.          Testimony dated December 7, 1987 of Don Bohning, The Miami Herald; Bernard Diederich, Time and Frank N. Manitzas, ABC News on behalf of the Foreign Correspondents Association of Florida.", The Washington Post, November 30, 1987.

50.          Washington Office on Haiti:  "The Haiti Beat" November 1987, Vol. 2, No. 3 at p. 4.

51.          Jill Smolowe:  "Blood in the Ballot box", n Time Magazine, December 14, 1987.

52.          This cable is in the files of the IACHR.

53.          See, n. 51 (supra).