mercredi 8 décembre 2010

Les Etats Unis réclament une révision des résultats du scrutin

L'ambassadeur des Etats Unis à Port-au-Prince, Kenneth Merten, encourage les efforts visant à « réviser les irrégularités pour supporter des résultats électoraux qui correspondent avec la volonté que le peuple haïtien a exprimée à travers son vote ». Dans un communiqué publié quelques heures après l'annonce des résultats préliminaires, M. Merten soutient que le « gouvernement des Etats-Unis est préoccupé par la publication des résultats préliminaires des élections nationales du 28 novembre par le Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP), qui ne correspondent pas avec les résultats publiés par le Conseil National d'Observation Electorale (CNO), et avec le dépouillement observé à travers le pays par de nombreux observateurs nationaux et internationaux.
« Les Etats-Unis sont engagés dans la consolidation de la démocratie en Haïti et appellent le gouvernement d'Haïti, le CEP, et toutes les forces politiques d'assurer que la volonté du peuple soit entièrement reflétée dans les résultats de ces élections », explique le communiqué de l'ambassade américaine.
Dans le même temps, le diplomate américain exhorte les acteurs politiques et leurs partisans à garder leur calme.
LLM / radio Métropole Haïti

L'Inité est en position de remporter les législatives

7 candidats de la plateforme présidentielle ont été élus au premier tour des législatives selon les résultats préliminaires publiés par le CEP. Le maire de Jacmel Edwin Zenny élu sénateur du Sud-Est avec 57,60%. Les candidats à la députation élus sont ; Levaillant Louisjeune (Desdunes, Artibonite, Nord) : 83,64% ; Arodont Bien-Aimé : Cerca Carvajal (Plateau Central), 76,11% ; François Malherbe : Bainet (Sud-Est), 57,61%., Saurel Jacinthe ( Moron/Chambellan, Grand'Anse) : 84,61% ; Francenet Dénius, l'Asile (Nippes, Sud-Ouest) : 69,69% ;
De plus, la quasi-totalité des autres candidats de la plateforme présidentielle sont en ballotage dans la plupart des autres circonscriptions électorales.
Cependant 7 candidats de l'opposition sont également élus au premier tour. L'ex-député de Pétion-ville, Steven Benoit (Alternative), est élu sénateur de l'Ouest au 1er tour avec 61,85%.
Le parti AAA de Youri Latortue compte 3 élus, et d'autres regroupements tels Liberasyon comptent également des candidats élus au premier tour.
LLM / radio Métropole Haïti

Un mort en Haïti suite à des violences post-électorales

Une personne a été tuée par balle aux Cayes dans le sud du pays, où des scènes de violences ont été enregistrées après la publication des résultats des élections du 28 novembre. Entre temps plusieurs manifestants sont actuellement dans les rues de la capitale, ils entendent protester contre ces résultats publiés par le Conseil Electoral Provisoire, annonçant un second tour entre la candidate du RDNP, Mirlande Manigat (31,4%) et Jude Célestin de l'INITE (22,5%),
Un groupe de manifestants sont massés devant un des locaux du Conseil Electoral Provisoire sur l'autoroute de Delmas, où un périmètre de sécurité a été établi par les policiers haïtiens de concert avec les soldats de la mission onusienne déployée en Haïti.
Les manifestants avaient menacé de mettre le feu dans les locaux du CEP, si les forces utilisent des gaz lacrymogènes pour les disperser.
EJ/Radio Métropole Haïti

Preval calls for calm amid post-election protests

By Moni Basu, CNN
December 8, 2010 -- Updated 1856 GMT (0256 HKT)
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- Haitian President Rene Preval appealed for calm Wednesday as thousands of angry Haitians took to the streets of the capital to protest the results of what they charged was a fraudulent election.

In a speech broadcast on radio, Preval urged the presidential candidates to discuss and analyze the results provided by the Provisional Electoral Council. The council announced results Tuesday night that will force a runoff between former first lady Mirlande Manigat and Jude Celestin, a Preval protege.
"Preval is a thief. We don't need Jude Celestin. We need Michel Martelly," people chanted, expressing support for the candidate who came in third and was left out of the runoff.
Fires burned on rock-strewn streets in Port-Au-Prince as dawn broke Wednesday. The rocks had been thrown by protesters, who hurled them with a purpose: to disrupt the capital.
Journalist Ernest Moloskot predicted that more violence awaited Haiti in the days ahead.
"It will get worse because of the anger of the people," he said.
American Airlines canceled all flights to and from Haiti on Wednesday amid the unrest there, spokeswoman Martha Pantin said. Flight crews were unable to get to the airport due to the protests, she said.
Many people kept to their homes Wednesday, fearful of the brewing tension outside and fearful of what the future may bring in their already troubled homeland.
Most vocal on the volatile streets were the supporters of Martelly, a flamboyant Haitian entertainer otherwise known as Sweet Mickey.
It had been widely expected that the unlikely candidate would face former first lady and parliamentarian Mirlande Manigat in a runoff.
Martelly had expressed confidence that his status as a political novice would be his very strength and that he would emerge victorious onto Haiti's political stage.
Even the night before the results were announced by the Provisional Electoral Council, Martelly, dressed in a suit and a wide smile, gave countless media interviews from a room at the swanky Karibe Hotel.
He cautioned then that the results would betray the will of the people.
So when the numbers were finally read out late Tuesday, Martelly immediately vowed to appeal. He had planned a news conference to discuss his challenge, but was forced to cancel it when Port-Au-Prince exploded with the kind of street unrest that so many here had seen coming.
The Provisional Electoral Council said Manigat had won 31.37 of the vote. Celestin edged out Martelly 22.48 percent to 21.84 percent.
Since no candidate obtained the 50 percent of the votes needed to win outright, Haitians will return to the polls in January, four days after the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake, to vote in a runoff election.
But even before Martelly charged fraud Tuesday evening, the entire electoral process had come into question.
The National Observation Council (CNO), a European Union-backed local election monitoring group, suggested Celestin was running behind the other two candidates.
Martelly said aloud what many others in Haiti were thinking: Preval would go to any lengths to ensure a win for Celestin and preserve the power of his party, INITE.
"The math says an absolute fraud," said his campaign manager, Damian Merlo.
Some people here were buoyed by a statement from the U.S. Embassy issued late Tuesday that said the United States supports the review of irregularities in the vote so that results are "consistent with the will of the Haitian people expressed in their votes.
"Like others, the government of the United States is concerned by the Provisional Electoral Council's announcement of preliminary results from the November 28 national elections that are inconsistent with the published results of the National Election Observation Council (CNO), which had more than 5,500 observers and observed the vote count in 1,600 voting centers nationwide," the embassy said.
Even as that statement was being issued, gunfire rang out on the streets and the acrid smell of burning tires and other objects filled the air.
People ran out on the streets denouncing Celestin. In the central Champs de Mars plaza, white pickup trucks carrying police in the back made their way around littered streets.
Residents of a tent city that covers the entire plaza beat on the rows of portable toilets, knocking one down.
Some of the worst rioting took place in the more upscale neighborhood of Petionville, known to be a Martelly stronghold. Roads were blocked and buildings were set afire. At 2 a.m., police were dodging fires and going door-to-door searching for vandals.
It had been feared that a win or runoff spot for Celestin would trigger more unrest in the Haitian capital. Preval's government has become increasingly unpopular with Haitians who see a lack of progress in their homeland.
Preval was barred by the constitution from seeking another term. Celestin headed the state-run transportation company that gained notoriety in the days after the quake as its trucks picked up the bodies of the dead and were tasked with clearing the rubble.
The next president of Haiti will inherit the daunting task of leading this Caribbean nation in its struggle to recover from years of dictatorship and poverty compounded earlier this year by the earthquake, Hurricane Tomas and a current cholera epidemic that has now sickened almost 100,000 people.
"We cannot take it anymore," Moloskot said.

Furious protests greet Haiti election results

Supporters of presidential candidate Michel Martelly  jump
over burning items during a protest in Port-au-Prince,
Haiti, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. Government-backed candidate
Jude Celestin and former first lady Mirlande Manigat
 will advance to a second-round runoff in Haiti's presidential
election, officials announced Tuesday as furious protests
 led by supporters of Martelly, the third-place candidate,
broke out in the capital. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
 (Ramon Espinosa - AP)Ajouter une légende
The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 8, 2010; 7:48 AM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Furious supporters of eliminated candidates set fires and put up barricades in the streets of Haiti's capital after officials announced that government protege Jude Celestin and former first lady Mirlande Manigat would advance to a runoff in presidential elections.
The results announced late Tuesday were immediately questioned at home and abroad, threatening more unrest for a country wracked by a cholera epidemic and still recovering from a devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.
Popular carnival singer Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly trailed Celestin by about 6,800 votes - less than 1 percent, according to the results released by Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council.
Martelly supporters set up flaming barricades near the Petionville restaurant where the tallies were announced and threw rocks at people passing nearby. Gunshots rang out and an Associated Press journalist was robbed.
"If they don't give us Martelly and Manigat (in the second round), Haiti will be on fire," said a protester, Erick Jean. "We're still living under tents and Celestin wastes money on election posters."
Protests surged again as the sun rose over Port-au-Prince. The black smoke of burning barricades filled the air in areas where Martelly's support is strongest, including Petionville and Delmas. Thousands were on the streets, singing political songs and chanting, "Micky."
Violent disturbances were also reported in Les Cayes, where residents said government buildings had been attacked and set on fire.
Much of the concern centered around conflicts between the announced results and those reported recently by a local election monitoring group financed by the European Union - the National Observation Council - which said that Celestin, who is backed by outgoing President Rene Preval, would be eliminated.
"The Government of the United States is concerned by the Provisional Electoral Council's announcement of preliminary results ... that are inconsistent with the published results of the National Election Observation Council" as well as U.S. observers and vote counts monitored by domestic and international observers, the U.S. Embassy said in an e-mailed statement.
The Nov. 28 election was plagued by allegations of fraud. Thousands of voters were disenfranchised by confusion on the rolls and there were many reported incidents of ballot-stuffing, violence and intimidation confirmed by international observers.
Officials acknowledged the rolls were both bloated and incomplete, with hundreds of thousands of earthquake dead still registered and many living voters waiting for ID cards. In the last days of counting, tabulators had to sort out clearly fraudulent tally sheets.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the problems were worse than originally reported. But the U.N. peacekeepers and the joint Organization of American States-Caribbean Community observer mission said the problems did not invalidate the vote.
The head of the OAS-Caricom mission, Colin Granderson, told The Associated Press before the results were announced that officials could consider putting a third candidate in the runoff if the vote is nearly tied.
Martelly had said that he would not accept a spot in a run-off in which Celestin is present. His campaign called a late Tuesday night press conference but later canceled it for security reasons.
An appeals period runs through Dec. 10, with final results expected to be announced around Dec. 20. The run-off is scheduled for Jan. 16.
Merchants and residents had braced for rioting by supporters of the losing candidates before the results were announced, covering market stalls and jamming streets to rush home.
The protests began as soon as news of the results hit the streets. Orange fires burned on the hills above the capital, white smoke rising into the dim electric light. Rocks were thrown at the few passing cars and guns were fired in the air. The shouts of people - drunken, reveling, angry and scared - rang across barricaded streets.
Manigat, a 70-year-old law professor, is the wife of former Haitian president Leslie Manigat who served briefly in the late 1980s after a much-criticized election before being deposed by a coup. Her supporters include a powerful senator who organized violent protests in his home department ahead of the first round of voting.
Celestin, a virtual unknown before the election, is the candidate of Preval's Unity party. He is the head of the state-run construction company whose trucks carted bodies and limited amounts of rubble out of the city after the Jan. 12 quake.
His campaign was the best-funded of the group but Preval's inability to jump-start a moribund economy or push forward reconstruction after the massive earthquake drained his support. Many voters said they would accept "anyone but Celestin," whom they equate with the unpopular Preval.
Twelve of the 19 candidates on the ballot joined on Nov. 28 to allege that fraud was used to ensure a Celestin victory and call for the cancellation of the vote. Manigat and Martelly were among them but later reversed position when officials remarked they had a chance to win.
Martelly, a popular carnival singer, was a dark horse who gained widespread credibility in the days before the vote. Thousands of his supporters took to the streets of Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien while polls were still open, many believing he had won the race.
The much-anticipated results were released by council president Gaillot Dorsainvil and the clear winner in the bid for senate seats was Preval's Inite, or Unity party, which advanced to a run-off in nine races and won a tenth. An independent candidate won the 11th.
Turnout in the Nov. 28 presidential election was low: Just over a million people cast accepted ballots out of some 4.7 million registered voters.
Associated Press writer Jacob Kushner contributed to this report

Haiti cholera likely from UN troops, expert says

By JONATHAN M. KATZ The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 7, 2010; 11:11 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A contingent of U.N. peacekeepers is the likely source of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that has killed at least 2,000 people, a French scientist said in a report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux concluded that the cholera originated in a tributary of Haiti's Artibonite river, next to a U.N. base outside the town of Mirebalais. He was sent by the French government to assist Haitian health officials in determining the source of the outbreak, a French Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
"No other hypothesis could be found to explain the outbreak of a cholera epidemic in this village ... not affected by the earthquake earlier this year and located dozens of kilometers from the coast and (tent) camps," he wrote in a report that has not been publicly released.
The report also calls for a further investigation of the outbreak, improved medical surveillance and sanitation procedures for U.N. peacekeeping troops and better support for Haitian health authorities.
The AP obtained a copy of the report from an official who released it on condition of anonymity. Piarroux confirmed he had authored the report but declined in an e-mail interview to discuss his findings. Copies were sent to U.N. and Haitian officials, the foreign ministry confirmed.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York that there is still no conclusive evidence that its base was the source of the outbreak. He said the organization "remains very receptive to any scientific debate or investigation on this."
The report's revelation comes on a day of high tensions in Haiti, as people anxiously await the results of the disputed Nov. 28 presidential election and potential resulting violence.
Piarroux could not prove there was cholera inside the base or among the soldiers, a point the U.N. has repeatedly used to deny its soldiers brought the disease to Haiti or that its sanitation procedures were responsible for releasing it into the environment. He writes that military doctors said there were no instances of cholera within the unit.
But he also hinted strongly at a cover-up.
"It can not be ruled out that steps have been taken to remove the suspected fecal matter and to erase the traces of an epidemic of cholera among the soldiers," he wrote.
The report also notes that septic tanks and pipes that would have helped to confirm sanitation problems and the presence of the bacteria were no longer at the base when he visited.
Nepalese troops earlier confirmed they had replaced a leaking pipe, which contained a foul-smelling runoff that the U.N. denies was human waste, between two visits by an AP reporter in October. The AP also found the local contractor dumped waste into overflowing pools dangerously close to a hillside that drains into the river.

Piarroux's is the first scientific report linking the base to the epidemic, though many other epidemiologists and public health experts have said for weeks that the soldiers are the most likely source of the infection.
Other scientists and experts say it is possible that ocean currents or other climate-related events carried the bacteria to Haiti. Further studies on bacterial samples that could address those questions are ongoing.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed in October that the strain of cholera bacteria in Haiti matched one from South Asia, a region that includes Nepal, but said it had no further information about the cause of the outbreak at the time.
Many Haitians have long suspected the Nepalese base was the source of the disease, and anger at the troops sparked a week of riots in which U.N. soldiers were injured and several Haitians were killed.
The report says that the first cases of the disease were from the village of Meille, where the base is located. The first confirmed case, a 20-year-old man from the village, developed symptoms on Oct. 14 and was found by Cuban doctors at a hospital in nearby Mirebalais.
Haitian investigators "indicated that the first patients were obtaining drinking water from a tributary of the Artibonite River flowing just below the (U.N.) base," he said.
It notes that the rotation of soldiers began arriving days before those first cases from Nepal, where there were cholera outbreaks over the summer.
It goes on to describe how the disease flowed into the Aribonite River before "exploding" in the delta where the river meets the sea. Hundreds of cases were reported within days, before the outbreak spiraled out of control to infect the entire county.
Until this outbreak there had not been a diagnosed case of cholera in Haiti as far back as records go in the mid-20th Century, Claire-Lise Chaignat, head of the global task force on cholera control at the World Health Organization, said in October. There were suspected cases a century before, but experts say it would have likely been a different strain than the ongoing El Tor pandemic.
The disease was totally unknown to today's Haitians, who had developed no immunity against it and had no information on how to fight it until aid workers mobilized after the outbreak. Terror over its fast-killing power has triggered attacks on cholera treatment centers and a witch-hunt in rural Haiti. At least 12 people were killed on accusations they used magic to spread the disease.
For the first critical month of the outbreak, the United Nations, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and others said that an investigation into how the disease arrived in Haiti was not necessary and could in fact be harmful. Those who asked questions about it were accused of playing "the blame game."
It was not until AP reports of sanitation problems at the base and calls by experts including Paul Farmer, a physician and U.N. official, for a thorough investigation that the matter was seriously discussed in public.
Farmer said there were compelling public health reasons to find the source of the infection, including finding information to help prevent its further spread, and that avoiding the questions was a matter of politics.
The U.N. mission confirmed to AP last month that a French epidemiologist had met with met with U.N. peacekeeping mission chief Edmond Mulet in Port-au-Prince to discuss his findings. At the time the mission denied that he had implicated the peacekeepers, but acknowledged that it was now taking the allegations about its base more seriously than when rumors first arose.
On Tuesday the mission said the report was still not definitive.
"We have neither accepted nor dismissed his findings, as it's one report among others," U.N. mission spokesman Vincenzo Pugliese said. "The Nepalese contingent in Mirebalais is just one piece of the cholera puzzle, since there is no conclusive evidence at this point that the Nepalese camp was or was not the source of the epidemic."
In roughly six weeks the disease has spread to every region of the country and sickened nearly 100,000 people. The U.N. says the death toll could be twice the official count and that up to 650,000 people in Haiti could get cholera over the next six months.
Associated Press writers Angela Doland in Paris and Edith Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report