Thomas A. Shannon
Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States
Statement to a Special Session of the OAS Permanent Council
Washington, DC, July 13, 2000
The Situation in Haiti
My delegation welcomes the report from OAS Electoral Observation Mission leader Ambassador Orlando Marville and wishes to express our appreciation for the dedicated work of his team under difficult conditions.
We join our delegations in expressing our profound concern and disappointment over the flawed electoral process in Haiti, especially in light of the contributions of so many people and institutions in Haiti and abroad to this effort.
In particular, we reiterate the conclusions of the OAS mission that the methodology used by the Provisional Electoral Council to determine the outcome of the Senate races violates both the Constitution of Haiti and its 1999 Electoral Law, and contravenes international standards of fairness based on the concept of "one person -- one vote."
The failure to include in the July 9 run-off elections those Senate seats not won in the first round by absolute majority, as prescribed by Haitian electoral law, makes the election incomplete and inappropriate. This is the conclusion of institutions of civil and political society within Haiti, as well as the United Nations, the European Union, and a wide variety of bilateral governments. This is also the conclusion of former CEP head, Leon Manus.
We appreciate the actions taken by CARICOM at the meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in St. Vincent and through the subsequent visit of Sir John Compton to Haiti to urge the Haitian authorities to resolve this problem.
Time is running out for the Haitian authorities to find a solution and reaffirm their commitment to a democratic outcome.
The international community will find it difficult to work with a Parliament in Haiti that has been elected in a tainted process.
The millions of Haitian voters who flocked to the polls on May 21 deserve nothing less than a electoral process that is free, fair, transparent and in full accordance with Haiti's own electoral law.
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