Bipartisan Group of Senators Call for Free and Fair Elections in Haiti
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are urging President Obama to collaborate with the international community to ensure the Haitian people have the ability to freely and fairly elect their leaders.
In a letter to President Obama, the Senators highlighted the assistance the United States provided the Haitian government to rebuild the country after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Due to corruption and a lack of good governance, the Haitian government is long-overdue for free and fair elections. As parliamentary and presidential elections near, there are serious concerns about whether these elections will be inclusive and transparent.
“The United States has invested almost four billion dollars in relief aid in Haiti since the devastating 2010 earthquake,” wrote the Senators in a letter to President Obama. “If long-term political and economic stability are to be achieved, it is imperative that the United States work with Haitian officials to promote good governance, uphold democratic values, and ensure that the Haitian people have the ability to freely select their own leaders.
“We request that your administration join with the Organization of American States and other international organizations to support electoral monitoring and observation in Haiti. We also request a detailed update about what your administration is doing to promote free and fair elections in Haiti.”
The 2010 elections in Haiti were marred by reports of fraud, violence, voter intimidation, violations of electoral laws, illegal exclusion of political parties and candidates, and problems with the composition of the electoral council. Municipal elections have been delayed since 2011 because President Martelly and opposition parties have failed to agree on terms, and Constitutionally mandated parliamentary elections were delayed in 2012. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe resigned amid anti-government protests in December 2104, and the following month the terms of the majority of Haitian members of parliament expired.
Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Photos of Senator Perdue in Haiti: