Electoral irregularities due to incompetence, not fraud

An independent commission that evaluated the Oct. 25 election results said on Monday that the majority of the irregularities were due to incompetence by poll workers, and not the result of intended political fraud.

Only eight percent of the tally sheets examined were free from irregularities, Rosny Desroches, a commission member, said.

“Many of the irregularities that we have seen are due to lack of preparation, negligence, lack of competence, lack of professionalism,” Desroches said after a news conference about the commission’s findings.

Dominican officials tighten border security

Dominican officials tightened the border at Dajabón on Monday due to the large numbers of Haitians they expect to attempt to enter the Dominican Republic illegally. On Mondays and Fridays, a binational market takes place to allow for easy trading between the neighboring countries.

We have “beefed up security and surveillance to prevent movement of undocumented persons,” Colonel Rafael Vasquez, director of the Border Control Unit of the Directorate General Immigration, said. The Dominican Army has been deployed at the border.

School directors and principals protest 

A number of school directors and principals whose institutions are enrolled in President Michel Martelly’s free universal school program, demonstrated peacefully Monday outside of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) demanding back pay.

The protesters accuse Minister Nesmy Manigat of not addressing their claims. Also known as Lekol Gratis, Martelly has touted the education program as one of the major successes of his administration. Under the program, a surcharge is added to money transfers made to the country. The funds are then used to provide free education to children.

Haiti economy down from 2014 

According to preliminary estimates, Haiti’s GDP is down compared to 2014. In 2015, Haiti’s GDP saw an increase of 1.7 percent, compared to an increase of 2.8 percent in 2014. The slow growth was observed in all industries. Economy officials say the decrease is due to the country’s socio-political environment and a relatively harsh drought.

Deplorable conditions in National Penitentiary

The prison population at the National Penitentiary is approaching 5,000 detainees, who have less than two square meters of space per person, exposing prisoners to infection diseases. The correctional facility was built to house 800 inmates. Families are forced to provide food and hygiene kits because of the lack of resources at the facility.

To make matters worse, nearly 80 percent of the prisoners have yet to see a judge.

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