HAITI: A POINT/COUNTERPOINT DEBATE

Created: 1/1/2000

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

local Elections combined with the President Aristide.

Community analysts judge therehance that legislati will be delayed by moreonth and that the elections presidential balloting and held in the summer or fallhile the odds-on favorite to win tlie presidential race, is likely io become increasingly concerned about his party's ability toolid first-round victory. By holdingelections. Aristide probably believes his coattails will help Fanmi Lavalas (FL) Party candidates sweep their legislative and local races.

The National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Latin America, on the other hand, believes the odds for holding elections more or less on time are atecause several recent deadlines have been met and momentum for elections is building bothand internationally.! |

Community analysts and the NIC) judge that pressures to politicize the HNP will mount. Aristide and his coterie probably will seek more control over the HNP toore favorable election outcome and might feel increasingly threatened by HNP-supported counterdrug policies. Thus, wc place the oddshat over the next six months the HNP will act in ways that are detrimental to key US policy objectives.

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ntelligence Community analysts covering Haiti engagedoint/ counterpoint debate focusing on Iwo questions:

Will legislative and local elections be held as scheduled on

How politicized will the Haiti National Police force (HNP) become?

Analysis were asked to assemble the besi data and develop the most persuasive arguments that would support two contrasting hypotheses for each question. For the election question, the hypotheses *cre I] the elections would be hcld as scheduled onarch or delayed no moreonth at most, orhe election date would continue to slip, resulting inlegislative and presidential elections in tlie summer or fallor ihe poliliciza-tion question, ihe hypotheses were: I) Aristide and his security advisers would gain complete de facto if notof the police force by the time elections were held, allowing them io manipulate the HNP for political gain, orNP Chief Denize would continue lo operate the HNProfessional manner, and Aristide would not compel any wholesale purge or restructuring of die force

In the discussion thai follows, wc lay out ihe evidence and logic lhal supports eachlist several indicators we would expect to see in the coming months if that hypothesis were valid, identify key variables, and provide some bottom-line judgments of how we expect these issues io play out over the next six months J j*

Election Timetable

I. The Case for Elections Being Held on Time.

Onresident Prevalecree formally convoking legislative and local elections on0econd round onormat electoral calendar was publishedivic educationinandidate registration onovember, and voter registration onanuary. Despite some significant logistic problems, the election appears to be proceeding largely on schedule. The civic educationwas launched onctober. The period for candidate registration which was to closextended for onlyours, forcing all the parties to scramble lotheir candidates. Few candidates were challenged, and thereelative absence of violence. Former President Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas (FT) Party held its national convention onndecember, and Aristide publicly called on the opposition to suppon honestand appealed to the private sector for

Meanwhile, the steady drumbeat of suppon for ihe electoral process emanating from high-level foreign visitors and international observers is building momentum to keep the electionon track. Various logistic problems could create obstacles and some inequities in thebut few areost can be overcome through increased international engagement or by providing "waivers" for when certainas financial disclosurebe met.

The opposition parties arc raising funds and gearing up for the campaign season. They are learning how to provide their own security

Indicators Hypothesis One Is Emerging^

and Aristide remain publicly committed to liolding elections on time.

' Aristide increases his public role as FL stalwarts mobilize early in the campaign,

The candidate list is finalizednd ballots are printed in January.

Voter registration proceeds on tracktrong turnout.

Opposition rallies are held and notdisrupted; popular organizationsow profile.

Opposition parties remain in the race.

Competing parties sign the nonviolence

amp

needs and how to engage the HNP earlier and more effectively in their preparations forevents. Recent rallies have been well attended and marked by fewer disniptions. with the HNP conducting itself well in separating political agitators from the crowd.l-

Aristide and his coterie recognize (and have been warned) dtat any attempt to derail the schedule would be counteiproductive to their long-term interests because it would undermine the credibility of the elections in the eyes of the international community and diminish theof gaining substantial internationalonce Aristide is re-elected. Aristide probably also calculates that an activeworks to his advantage in that il deflects charges that he is inlcnt on gaining anmajority in Ihe Parliament and establishing de facto one-man rule as president

he Case for Ihe Elections Being Delayed.

Unstick- will

pun out all the stops to ensure lhallocal elections are delayed andthe presidential vote, which isNovember

| Aristidecombined elections in about August and before US presidential elections.

believes his coatmils

will help FL candidates sweep the legislative and local races.|

Toward this end. Aristide is likely io takesteps to strengthen his position andthe election infrastructure lotrong FL showing at Ihe ballot box. F

JReHcciing his /al

strong ties io Aristide. Preval announced in November his support for the FL and called on citizens to vote for AristiaVs party. Aristide also relies on Preval to dampen international expectations that eleciions can be held on schedule. In addition. Aristide will call on party loyalists in charge of key ministries and cash-cowas the port and thestock FL campaignThe FL also is likely to lum increasingly to popular organizations and gangs lo disrupt the electoral process, intimidate the opposition, and plan pro-FL demonstrations]^

Arislide has refused to speak out againstand pl-inspired intimidation of opposi-tion politicians.

| in November, popular organizations with strong ties to Ihe FL disrupted opposition rallies in Petit Goave and in Port-au-Prince, and they are likely to continue such activities. Opposition leaders strongly believeroup closely allied with the FL wasfor fires lhal resulted in burning die homes

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Indicators Hypothesis Two Is Emerging]

Preval slates that holding free and fair elections is more important than holding elections on time.

Significant delays occur in voter registration.

FL fails to mobilize early in the campaign.

A scandal erupts involving members of the CEP, forcing some to resign.

Polling stations remain understaffed and inadequately funded.

' The level of campaign violence increases; an opposition politician is assai

of two opposition leaders in December. Aristide also is likely to resort to threats tobusiness leaders from funding opposition candidates or parties, according to sensitive reporting.

Key Variables and Bottom Ijnes. Analysts concluded (hat whether elections will be held more or less onis,onthe determined largely by how confident Aristide and his coterie are thai they willolid first-round victory. If the opposition fails totrong challenge and the level of political violence remains low. Aristide probably would opt to hold at least the first round of elections as scheduled. This would underscore the credibility of lhc process and increase the prospects of gaininginternational assistance once Aristide is re-elected. On balance, however, analysis believe that as the legislative election date approaches,evel of confidence in his party's chance of success is likely to slip. Thus, analysts judge therehance elections will be delayed by moreonth and thai Ihe second round of elections will be combined wiih ihe presidential elections and held in the summer or fall1 Artistide probably calculateshat combining the elections would give FL partyoost. Logistic considerations probably will besomelhc reason for combining the elections.]

zation of the HNP

the FL is attempting lo discredit the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) in hopes of stalling the electoral process. Several FL loyalists have publicly decried the CEP's incompetence, and defense attache reporting indicates FL popular organizations disrupted the CEP's civic education campaign kickoff in October. In addition,"

_|thc CEP has come under pressure from FL officials and Preval to delay theThere have been several instances of intimidation, including the hijacking of acar and shots fired outside anotherhome. Local election officials also have been targeted for intimidation. [ I

he Caseoliticized Police Force. Secretary of State for Security Manuel was forced out of office in October when he refused to cooperate with Fl. demands for using the HNPolitical tool for Aristide and to show leniency loward drug traffickers and corrupt police officials. Although HNP Chief Denize had been subject to ihe same pressures and

1 Tlie MO Tor Latin America believes ihe odds for holding election* more or lea on lime are belter, at Icau SO-SO. because sevcial recem deadlines have been met, and momentum 'or eictiioitt is building boUi domestically and miotnationully.

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he was allowed lo remain in his post because he worked oul an accommodation with Arislide and his security advisers. |

Denize isre-

quent visitor to ArlslideVhomc in Tabarrc. suggesting lhat he hasemporary modus Vivendi with the FL,

Meanwhile, opposition leaders have openly expressed concern thai the voter registration process and the security of election materials and ballots will be compromised. They see the HNPorce that is politicized, corrupt, and unable to pruvuk- luiiimwidc election security.

LArisiidc's loyalists have made serious Inroads into ihe HNP's senior ranks. In December, specialized police units provided security for R. candidates when they registered but not for oppositionAny future effort by Denize to oppose the FLey issue almost certainly would spur his forced dcparture.| |

he Case for Minimizing Politicizatlon.

Manuel's forced resignation was motivated largely by FL perceptions lhat he had become an increasingly political actor who would nor support the FL's agenda. Despite rumors of his imminent departure. Denize has remained in his post and appears to be holding his own within security and political circles. InPrime Minister Alexis publicly confirmed ihe government's trust in Denize and ihe HNP

Indicators Hypothesis One Is Emerging^ j

A major shakeup occurs in senior police ranks, resulting in the appointment of more officers with strong loyalties lo Arislide and the FL

The HNP's specialized units are no longer dispatched to provide security ai opposition rallies.

The HNP is abseni at opposition rallies, which are frequently disrupted by agitaiors.

The popular campaign against HNP Chief Denize. Counlerdrug Chief Marion AndresoU and HNP Inspector General Eucher Joseph resurfaces.

Denize or other senior police officials resign or are forcefully removed, citing major policy differences with Prevat.

Despite its rhetoric, the HNP lakes little action in support of counlerdrug initiativesX

Another positive sign is lhat Guyformer Delmas police commissaire who reportedly ha* close ties to ihe FL and drugreassigned in October but did noi accept another position in the HNP.

Denize also hasillingness to move against drug traffickers: several arrests and seizures have been made since Manuel's departure

In recenr months, lhc HNP und its specialized units provided adequate security for two Espace political rallies and respondedto their requestolice escortecember. Efforts also have been made to coordinate their activities with private security guards hired by the opposition candidates. The HNP's crowd control unit (CIMO) recently provided securityocal election office and effectively broke up Fl.-on-Fl. violenceown in northern Haiti. In addition, policehave been meeting with CEP leaders to discuss security procedures for the forthcoming balloting.

Key Variables and Bottom Lines. Analysts have identified two variables that most likely will determine whether the HNP becomes politicized; I) the degree lo which Aristide and his coterie feel they must be in control of Ihc election process, andhe extent to which they might feel threatened by HNP-supportcd anti-drug initiatives.]

Pressures lo politicize the HNP arc likely to mounl in Ihc coming months, particularly if the Espace continuesttract large numbers of supporters to its political rallies and can ensure their security through the use of large numbers of private security guards. Other factors that would increase ihe level of insecurity in FL ranks would be their inability to attractlo their rallies, indications of significant business funding of opposition parties, and polling results showing declining support for FLcundidatcs.|

Indicators Hypothesis Two Is ^

officers who are generallyapolitical and effective such as Denize. HNP Inspector General Eucher Joseph, counterdrug chief Mario Andresol. Coast Guard head Iron Charles, and SWAT Chief Etienne Saint-Gourdin. remain in their posts through the elections.

Preval rebuffs future entreaties by Dany Ttmssaint to dismiss senior officers or reverse HNP policy decisions.

The HNP develops andredible strategic plan to providefor the elections.

The HNP provides adequate security for both EL and opposition party rallies.

The Inspector General continues tomiss police officers for improper activi'including human rights abuses, drug trafficking, andcurrent rates.

The selection of new officers remains bated on applicants' qualifications and not political ties.

Ihc HNP demonstrates full cooperation with US counterdrug initiatives.

these likely trends, analysts and the NIO judge that Aristide and his coterie probably will seek more control over the HNP over ihe next six months and might feel increasinglyby HNP-supportcd counterdrug policies. Thus, wc place the oddshat the

HNP will become more politicized and act in ways that are detrimental to key US policy objectives.!

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