Haitian parliamentary election, 2000
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Parliamentary elections were held in Haiti on 21 May 2000, with a second round of voting for 46 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 19 seats in the Senate on 9 July, which was boycotted by the opposition). The result was a victory for Fanmi Lavalas, which won all 27 Senate seats and 72 of the 83 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Voter turnout was reported to be around 60%.
Although the elections had been delayed several times and irregularities were reported on voting day, the balloting was judged to be free and fair. According to the Center for International Policy, the elections were Haiti's best so far. Controversy however affected the Senate race over the calculation of whether Senate candidates had achieved the majority required to avoid a run-off election (in Haiti, seats where no candidate wins an absolute majority of votes cast has to enter a second-round run-off election). The validity of the Electoral Council's post-ballot calculations of whether a majority had been attained was disputed.
The results of the Chamber of Deputies were not disputed, but controversy followed the decision of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to declare first-round winners in 17 of the Senate's 27 seats (rather than enter these seats into the second round of run-off elections), leading to allegations of electoral fraud. With Lavalas ultimately winning all 27 Senate seats and only 8 seats disputed, the dispute could however not have affected the outcome, as the Organization of American States (OAS) noted. The OAS reported that the CEP's calculation of whether the leading candidate in a Senate seat had attained the necessary majority was incorrect, as it was based on the votes cast for a number of leading candidates (often the top four), rather than on all votes cast. As a result, 17 of the Senate's 27 seats were declared as having first-round winners, and only 10 seats were required to have a second round run-off between the first-placed and second-placed candidates. The OAS told the Electoral Council of its error, but it declined to amend its calculation, and in response the OAS suspended its observation activity for the second round. The head of the Electoral Council, Léon Manus, maintained that the calculation method "was in keeping with past practice", and initially told the OAS not to interfere. He later changed his mind and did a recount, and spoke to Preval and Aristide, who "made forceful statements which Manus took as threats to his life", as a result of which he left the country.
In response to the disputed election the US cut off aid and blocked previously agreed loans from the Inter-American Development Bank. "In 2001, a bankrupt Aristide agreed to virtually all of the concessions demanded by his opponents: he obliged the winners of the disputed Senate seats to resign, accepted the participation of several ex-Duvalier supporters in his new government, agreed to convene a new and more opposition-friendly CEP and to hold another round of legislative elections several years ahead of schedule. But the US still refused to lift its aid embargo."
Chamber of Deputies
|Christian National Movement||3|
|Louvri Baryé Party||2|
|Espace de Concentration||2|
|Other parties and independents||3|
- Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p381 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
- Inter-Parliamentary Union, Haiti: Parliamentary Chamber: Sénat; ELECTIONS HELD IN 2000
- Daniel P. Erikson, "Haiti after Aristide: Still on the Brink," Currently History, February 2005
- Peter Hallward, New Left Review, Option Zero in Haiti, May-June 2004
- OAS, 13 July 2000, The OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti: Chief of Mission Report to the OAS Permanent Council
- Michele Wucker, "Haiti: So Many Missteps," World Policy Journal, Spring 2004: 46.
- James R. Morrell. Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory, Center for International Policy, August 2000.