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UN Human Rights Expert on Haiti expresses grave concern over camp conditions, unsure on exclusionary election
Submitted by CHAN on September 16, 2010 - 20:35
Agence Haitienne de Presse (9 September, 2010) reports that the UN's independent human rights expert on Haiti, Michel Forst, has expressed grave concern with the deteriorating conditions in many camps in and around Port-au-Prince and Jacmel following a recent visit to the country. Forst expressed hopes that reconstruction funds would be used to grant Haitians rights that they have long been deprived, including access to education, housing, health, and participation in the democratic process.
Yet on this last issue, Forst, making his second visit to Haiti since the January 12 earthquake, stated that it was still 'too soon to tell' if the upcoming 28 November elections would be credible. These elections exclude the participation of Haiti's largest political party, Fanmi Lavalas (for more on this exclusion, here).
For the record, Forst said of the previous national election in Haiti, held in April 2009 and which also excluded Fanmi Lavalas, that he 'wanted to believe' that the decision to exclude the party was legitimate, a sentiment shared by very few in the country. That election was widely seen as a power play by Preval's Inite (Unity) party. Voter participation was less than five per cent. (See a story on the 2009 election here, and read the full AHP story on Forst's most recent statements in French here.)