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).[1][2] 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%.[2]

Although the elections had been delayed several times and irregularities were reported on voting day, the balloting was judged to be free and fair.[3] According to the Center for International Policy, the elections were Haiti's best so far.[4] 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,[4] 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),[5][4] leading to allegations of electoral fraud. With Lavalas ultimately winning all 27 Senate seats and only 8 seats disputed,[4] the dispute could however not have affected the outcome, as the Organization of American States (OAS) noted.[6] 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.[5] 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.[5] The head of the Electoral Council, Léon Manus, maintained that the calculation method "was in keeping with past practice",[4] 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.[7]

In response to the disputed election the US cut off aid and blocked previously agreed loans from the Inter-American Development Bank.[4] "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."[4]

Results[edit]

Chamber of Deputies[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Fanmi Lavalas 72
Christian National Movement 3
Louvri Baryé Party 2
Espace de Concentration 2
Other parties and independents 3
Invalid/blank votes - -
Total 83
Source: IPU

Senate[edit]

Party Votes % Seats
Fanmi Lavalas 27
Total 27
Source: IPU

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p381 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  2. ^ a b Inter-Parliamentary Union, Haiti: Parliamentary Chamber: Sénat; ELECTIONS HELD IN 2000
  3. ^ Daniel P. Erikson, "Haiti after Aristide: Still on the Brink," Currently History, February 2005
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Peter Hallward, New Left Review, Option Zero in Haiti, May-June 2004
  5. ^ a b c OAS, 13 July 2000, The OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Haiti: Chief of Mission Report to the OAS Permanent Council
  6. ^ Michele Wucker, "Haiti: So Many Missteps," World Policy Journal, Spring 2004: 46.
  7. ^ James R. Morrell. Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory, Center for International Policy, August 2000.