Haitian People Turn Out in Force for Democracy

The many foreseeable problems with lack of voting stations and the ineptitude and criminality of the coup regime have come to pass.  But the Haitian people's drive for democracy could not be stopped. From the AHP translation mailing list (email mlhaiti /at/cornernet.com to be added to the list), translated by Mike Levy:

Port-au-Prince, February 7, 2006 (AHP)- Tens of thousands of people have been in the streets since this morning in several districts of  Port-au-Prince to denounce maneuvers aimed at preventing them from voting.  

Thousands of citizens took to the streets in the Delmas 75 district. Thousands of other frustrated would-be voters left Cité Soleil and the surrounding neighborhoods and headed for the headquarters of the Provisional Electoral Council.  

Thousands more who were prevented from voting at city hall set off in the same direction.  

The lines of people waiting to vote since 5 o'clock to ensure that they would be able to vote this morning number in the hundreds of thousands.

The problems were either that the voting materials were not available or the polling officials were not present or else the voters were not able to find their names on the lists or were not able to find the polling stations at all.  

"This is a complete shambles" protested the voters, who announced their intention to remain in line all night long until the CEP gives them the opportunity to vote.  

In several districts, poll watchers from political parties were denied access to the polling stations.  

Polling officials turned away voters who did not know how to read on the pretext that their names would not be on the lists.  

Other officials are questioning voters before they allow them to vote.

And in another AHP article translated by Mike Levy, also from today:

A member of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) affirmed that steps will be taken in order that all of the people manage to cast their vote.  

"I am aware of the unwavering determination of the population to vote and the dimensions of the crowds massed in front of the polling stations", said CEP member Louis Gerson Richemé.

This CEP member did not know if this commitment to allow every person to vote was generally known.  But it does not appear that those standing outside voting stations are waiting for official sanction to exercise their rights.

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