As we – unlike the major U.S. media – have noted in previous posts (here, here and here), an ongoing political scandal has emerged in Haiti following revelations that, contrary to statements by CEP spokesperson Richardson Dumel, only four of eight CEP members appear to have signed the official statement regarding the Council’s determinations regarding a second round. This would mean that, legally, the CEP did not actually reach an official decision, and that preparations for a second round of elections between two candidates are illegitimate.
In the wake of legal challenges against Dumel that would require him to prove the authenticity of the document he cited in making public pronouncements regarding the second round -- and following our February 9 blog post noting that the CEP had not by then posted anything on its website regarding the supposed decision on the runoff -- we noticed with surprise last week when the CEP actually did post a press release on its site affirming its decision regarding the second round. More surprising was that the statement was followed by the names of all eight CEP members, including the four "dissenters": Ginette Chérubin, Jean-Pierre Toussaint Thélève, Jacques Belzin, and Ribel Pierre.
Puzzled by this, we contacted one of the CEP members who did not sign. This member was unaware that their signatures had been posted underneath the press release (and indeed, that the press release had been posted), and contacted the CEP to complain. Now, the names of the four non-signers have disappeared from the statement. So the press release, as currently posted, affirms reports in Le Nouvelliste and elsewhere that the CEP was, and is, split regarding how to proceed with a second round.
If nothing else, this should raise a host of questions. But don’t expect the U.S. Haiti correspondents – who have reported Dumel’s proclamation as fact -- to ask them.