ELECTIONS HELD IN 2000
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|21 May 2000
30 July 2000
|Renewal of 19 seats in the 27-member Senate. Partial elections had previously taken place in April 1997.|
|On 11 January 1999, President René Préval announced that the term of the National Assembly had expired and therefore began governing by decree. The dates for the new legislative elections were subsequently fixed for 19 March and 30 April 2000. Following on a year and a half of political instability, the announcement that elections would take place triggered such a wave of violence in the country that it threatened the holding thereof. The President of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) stated that if the violence did not cease the elections would be postponed, and the opposition warned that it would boycott the elections if the climate of terror continued. In April 2000, at least ten opposition MPs had been assassinated and a group claiming to support the Lavalas Family Party burnt down the headquarters of the United Democratic Convention, an opposition party. In early March 2000, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) postponed the elections indefinitely, and international aid of more than USD 500 million, which Haiti urgently needs to combat the poverty from which nearly 75% of its population suffers, was immediately frozen due to the lack of a Parliament.
Elections for 19 senators, 82 representatives, 133 municipal boards and 564 boards of administration of communal sections (CASECs) finally got under way on 21 May and 9 July 2000. Owing to the climate of insecurity, the campaign did not feature any public meetings, thus preventing voters from familiarizing themselves with the candidates' electoral programmes.
The 21 May elections were marked by high turnout by voters who queued up to vote, unlike the 1997 elections, where turnout had been a measly 7%. Several political leaders expressed reservations due to many logistical problems - lack of staff, equipment, voting booths - but election day was very calm indeed. The high turnout did not materialize for the second round, held on 9 July 2000, when voting stations were virtually empty. The second round, held only in the provinces, for the renewal of 46 of the 82 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, was boycotted by the opposition, which withdrew after having denounced incidents involving fraud in the first round.
More than 200 international observers, half of whom had been sent by the Organization of American States (OAS), denounced the methods used for counting votes and allocating seats in the first round. The President of the CEP, Mr. Leon Manus, who had refused to certify the final results owing to irregularities in the final vote counts, was obliged to leave the country under the protection of foreign diplomats and take refuge in the US. The OAS withdrew its observers in the second round, deeming that the results of the first round had been rigged to help the Lavalas Family Party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The results gave this party 26 of the 46 seats up for renewal in the Chamber of Deputies and 18 of the 19 seats to be filled in the Senate. In accordance with the election outcome, the nine seats which had remained vacant in the Senate during the first round and were subsequently filled at the same time as the presidential elections of 26 November 2000 were attributed to the Lavalas Family Party. The opposition, which did not participate in these elections, called for the nullification of the results.
The final tally for the Chamber of Deputies gave the Lavalas Family Party a majority, namely 72 seats out of the total.
On 28 August 2000, the new parliamentarians were officially sworn in. Mr. Yvon Neptune, a member of the majority party, was elected President of the Senate, while Mr. Sainvoyis Pascal, a member of an opposition party, MOCHRENA, was elected President of the Chamber of Deputies.
|Round no 1 (21 May 2000): Elections results|
|Number of registered electors||424 5384|
|Round no 1: Distribution of seats|
|Lavalas Family Party||27|
|Distribution of seats according to sex:|
|Percent of women:||25.93|
Copyright © 2000 Inter-Parliamentary Union