CIEVE, Verification Commission Methodology

The Independent Commission for Electoral Evaluation and Verification (CIEVE) was installed by the Provisional President Privert on April 28, 2016 with the objectives of reviewing previous election results and electoral court decisions, before moving forward with the unfinished election. The commission was created because as per his belief a verification process was necessary to establish credibility of the 2015 election results and restore confidence and encourage "players to trust the electoral council and to participate in the upcoming elections." Moreover, it was a key demand of many civil society organizations, human rights figures, and political parties.


This commission, like the earlier one created by the former President Martelly, would audit the last election process through a 15% random sample, because it is impossible to recount every vote cast by 5.8 million registered voters in about 10,000 polling stations. As per François Benoît, the President of the Commission, 15% sample size might carry a chance of 20% marginal error (which is much higher than 3 to 5% margin of error as was proclaimed by the earlier Commission set up by Martelly).

However, some candidates like Maryse Narcisse (Fanmi Lavalas) and C. Henry Baker (Respé) from "Pitit Dessalin" who did not qualify for the second round of the presidential election, have expressed their reservations on the sample checking and have insisted to verify all 13,725 minutes of the last election. Some oppositions have even argued that the sampling process will be used as a smokescreen to remove their candidate from the contest. In response, Erick Gaillard, one of the Commissioners of CIEVE, has said, the use of sample audit was discussed and decided with the consent of all the political parties, including "Pitit Dessalin, prior to the adoption of the Commission's terms of reference, and then they did not raise any objection to this method. And as per Gédéon Jean, the General Secretary and Spokesperson of the CIEVE, the Commission has no official authority to rewrite the election result, but to declare their findings as per ranking of the candidates and report the same to the CEP and the Executive what the numbers show.

The terms of reference of the mandate of the Commission as was read according to the Decree of 27 April 2016, include the following: (1) Scrutiny of the signature sheets, ballots and already registered complaints, the partial electoral lists, count sheets, minutes of counting, minutes of deficiency, incidence minutes; (2) Evaluate and review all decisions of the CEP in matters relating to the denunciation of documented complaints; (3) Check compliance of the voting process, polling and counting in accordance with the Electoral Decree of March 2015 and make appropriate recommendations; (4) Recommend corrective measures to the Executive Power and the Electoral Council likely to restore confidence in the electoral process and ensure the sincerity of the results.

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