Haitian Election Results
February 18, 2006
On February 16, Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council declared Rene Preval the winner of the February 7 election. Preval overwhelming won the votes of the poor and oppressed Haitian masses. This support was based on the fact that Preval was closely associated with President Aristide (who was kidnapped, and his government overthrown, by a U.S. invasion in 2004) and the Lavalas movement.
The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced Preval's victory only after several days of massive, nationwide demonstrations. These mobilizations thwarted the attempt of the occupying U.S.-U.N. army and the Haitian elite to steal votes.
Initial polls, including the reports of the CEP, showed Preval getting two-thirds of the vote. But on the next day, under pressure from the Haitian business community and the foreign armies, some 300,000 or more ballots disappeared or were marked "spoiled" and the CEP claimed that Preval's total had fallen under the 50% needed to win.
In fact, from start to finish, the U.S.-U.N. occupying authorities rigged the elections to prevent the participation of the people and the progressive parties. The elections were held at gunpoint. In the 2 years of foreign occupation, thousands and thousands of progressive activists have been killed. Leading spokespersons of the Lavalas movement were systematically killed, imprisoned and hunted. The election authorities refused to open any polling places in the poor neighborhoods.
Yet, on election day, Haitians all across the country walked for miles and waited for hours to cast their votes for Preval.
Since the election, the U.S. and U.N. are continuing to suppress the Haitian people's rights and struggle. On February 14, the U.N. Security Council voted to extend its military presence in Haiti for at least another 6 months. The U.S. government is insisting that Preval prove his "moderation" by bringing the opposition parties into the government, repressing the popular organizations, etc.
But the vote for Preval is another rallying point for the Haitian people who are determined to reclaim their sovereignty and proceed along the path of economic, political and social reform begun under the Aristide government. The immediate demands of the people include an end to the U.S.-U.N. occupation; freedom for all political prisoners; an end to political repression and persecution; and restoration of the government of President Aristide.