Haiti – New Constitution : What the decree says on the referendum
In the Decree on the constitutional referendum, adopted by the Council of Ministers on December 31, 2020 and published on January 5, 2021 in the official journal “Le Moniteur”, the population is solemnly called upon to express itself by referendum to decide both on the principle constitutional reform than on a technical process that must be at the same time transparent, inclusive and balanced.
Before the vote, article 16 of the decree states : “The draft Constitution is published in the Official Journal, Le Moniteur, in Creole and in French, at least twenty (20) days, before the constitutional referendum” and article 17 extends this campaign of dissemination of this new Constitution to all “available means of communication”.
Articles 18,19 and 20 ensure fair treatment to votes in agreement with the referendum (OUI / WI) and to those who tend to disagree (NON).
The organization of the ballot (referendum) will meet a high level of transparency. Thus, it is provided in article 24 “[…] the members of the polling stations, in their respective zones, will be chosen by the CEP, on a list of citizens submitted by representative associations…” and the article 25 specifies “[…] This will be done in public session by drawing lots.”
Articles 30 and 31 state that “[…] the safety of all persons participating in the referendum will be ensured. In addition to the security forces that will be mobilized for the occasion, in each polling center, at least two (2) administrative referendum security officers will be present.”
In addition, “Important measures will be taken to guarantee the safety of all. For example, bladed weapons and firearms will not be allowed inside polling stations”(Article 47)
At the end of the voting day (April 25, 2021 https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-32719-haiti-flash-complete-calendar-of-all-electoral-operations-2020-2022-official.html The count will be done according to article 60 “[…] in the presence of the representatives of the structured representative associations of civil society and of the duly accredited national and international observers.” These same representatives will also be present during the precise tabulation of section 76.
Throughout the referendum process, national political, cultural, social, economic and religious organizations may propose observers to the CEP (articles 80, 81, 82, 83).
It will also be possible to lodge disputes with the Referendum Litigation Office, set up by the CEP with, among others, independent lawyers proposed by the National Federation of Haitian Bars (art. 92). The state or any structured representative association of civil society may absolutely contest the ballot (Article 98).