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28333: Saint-Vil (News) Elections Canada's J-P Kingsley Must Resign, groups say (fwd)

From: Jean Saint-Vil <jafrikayiti@hotmail.com>

For immediate release
April 21, 2006

Human rights activists call for Jean-Pierre Kingsley's resignation
Elections Canada chief condemned for "bungling" monitor role for Haiti

Ottawa - Grassroots human rights and anti-war activists called today for
the resignation of Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Elections Canada's long-time
Chief Electoral Officer, for his bungling of the first round of the
recent Haitian elections.

Kingsley chairs the international monitoring mission charged with
examining the election process under way in Haiti. The second round of
legislative elections will be held today, but the activists demonstrating
in front of Kingsley's Slater St. office argue that he has already
bungled his mission and should resign.

Haiti's election process was deeply flawed from the outset, but these
flaws were never reported by Jean-Pierre Kingsley's team," says Jean
Saint-Vil, with the Ottawa Haiti Solidarity Committee.

Saint-Vil pointed to the many serious problems overlooked by Elections
Canada, including the jailing without charge of hundreds of political
prisoners, politically-targeted police violence and the serious reduction
in the numbers of registration and voting stations which
disproportionally affected poorer Haitians.

"These problems have not been mentioned; let alone addressed by the
Canadian-led monitoring mission that was supposed to evaluate the
election's fairness," Saint-Vil said.

Much-postponed, the first round of Haiti's presidential and legislative
elections finally took place on February 7. The election was marred by
revelations of vote manipulation, internal disputes within the election
council, and the appearance of large numbers of ballots burning at a city
dump, among other serious problems.

"Despite an election process designed to stifle Haiti'ss popular will,
the population was able to rise up and insist that its choice for
president be accepted," said Raymond Dubuisson of the Haitian community
organization CHORHA. "The Haitian people won this election, despite the
efforts of the Canadian-backed coup government in Haiti and Kingsley's
monitoring mission."

The biased and politically partisan "monitoring" by the Kingsley-led
group is hardly surprising, said Marcella Adey, of the Ottawa Haiti
Solidarity Committee.

"Most of the countries invited to participate in this supposedly
independent election monitoring group were actually involved in the
military occupation of Haiti since the Canadian-backed coup two years
ago," Adey said. "Why on earth should any of them be trusted?"

The activists formally delivered their complaint to Jean-Pierre
Kingsley's office today, along with a demand that he condemn the
detention of hundreds of political prisoners throughout Hait's election


For more information: http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca

Media Contacts:

Ottawa Haiti Solidarity Committee
Jean Saint-Vil (613) 661-8474
Kevin Skerrett (613) 864-1590

Canado-Haitiens de l&#8217;Outaouais pour la reconstruction d'Ha´ti
Raymond Dubuisson (819) 663-6274

Nowar-Paix (www.nowar-paix.ca)
Jessica Squires (819) 328-5831