Mr. Douglass to Mr. Blaine.
Port-au-Prince, January 17, 1890. (Received January 31.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that an important election has been in progress here since the 10th instant and is now nearly finished. The election machinery under the laws and usage of Haiti is extremely cumbersome and complicated, and a period of 15 days is allowed for completing the voting.
The present is the first general election for members of the Legislative Assembly since the organization of the Government under President Hyppolite.
The returns show that the voting has been in favor of the Government, and that a majority of the Assembly will support its measures.
The proceedings appear to have been characterized by considerable disorder and violence in some quarters, but not more than occur in some parts of our own country at elections. No matter what party is in power here, the administration is usually charged with the exercise of improper and undue influences to defeat the popular will. The present administration has not escaped this common reproach.
The presence of soldiers in uniform at the polls has been complained of as having a tendency to intimidate the voters. However this may be, since many citizens are on duty as soldiers, they have been compelled to appear at the polls in uniform or not to vote at all.
In the main, I think that the election has been fair, and that the result reached is in favor of the stability of the Government and of the peace of the country.
I am, etc.,