Are MINUSTAH’s Voter Progress Claims Too Good to Be True?

November 23, 2010

Bloomberg reports today:

[MINUSTAH head Edmond] Mulet said 4.5 million Haitians have been registered to vote for president and for seats in the parliament, and that campaign rallies and caravans are being held without incident. He cautioned that former Haitian soldiers and gangs may attempt to disrupt the voting.

Sadly, there was actually a fatal shooting incident today – media reporting a clash between supporters of  presidential candidates Jude Celestin and Charles Henri Baker, respectively, with two people dying.

If, as Mulet says, 4.5 million Haitians are registered to vote, this would be one million more people registered than in the last presidential election, and probably close to the entire voting age population (which was 4.3 million in 2006). This is highly unlikely, especially considering that over one million people were displaced, and some 300,000 killed, by this year’s earthquake.

Bloomberg also reports that “Mulet said there have been no allegations of government manipulation of the campaign or any other wrongdoing. ”

Unless of course you count the arbitrary exclusion of several political parties by an electoral council hand-picked by the government, which has been condemned numerous times both inside and outside Haiti, as we already described today, or the other “wrongdoing” described in a new report from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

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