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Congresswoman Wilson Statement in Response to State Department Letter on Haiti Elections

Congresswoman Wilson Votes to Pass Democrats’ Moving Forward Act, H.R. 2
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson

[MIAMI] – On October 15, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey led 24 congressional lawmakers in a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to express alarm over the Trump administration’s calls for elections in Haiti without broad civil society involvement.

To read the full letter, click here.

On November 17, Ryan M. Kaldahl, Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Legislative Affairs, responded to the bicameral group of lawmakers.

To read the State Department’s response, click here.

In response to the November 17 letter, Congresswoman Wilson issued the following statement:

“I’m pleased to hear that the State Department shares my concerns regarding democracy, insecurity, and human rights in Haiti and that it agree that elections, when scheduled, should include the broadest possible participation of civil society in order to strengthen Haiti’s democratic process.

“However, Haitian civil society has raised pressing concerns about a lack of an inclusive dialogue, government intimidation, and unconstitutional appointments to the electoral council. As stated in my October 15th letter, it remains critical for Secretary Pompeo to recognize these concerns and use the voice of the United States to support free and fair elections. While legitimate elections should take place as soon as possible, I am deeply concerned that a failure to engage key stakeholders and fears of political intimidation will harm public confidence in any outcome.

“I am also disappointed that the State Department has chosen to not directly address the September 16 statement made by a senior official warning Haitian civil society groups of “consequences” if they stand in the way of the electoral process. This rhetoric threatens to impede meaningful dialogue and I again urge Secretary Pompeo to clarify those remarks.”



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