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Haiti's Electoral Farce Continues in June of 2009

posted by WadnerPierre Haiti Topics: elections

May 1, 2009

Haiti's Electoral Farce Continues in June of 2009

by Wadner Pierre

As widely predicted, Haiti's senatorial elections of April 19 were boycotted by the overwhelming majority of the electorate. Two days ago, as if to deliberately invite more ridicule, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced that there were no winners in the first round for 12 vacant senate seats that were contested. Haiti has a 30 seat senate. A second round of the discredited elections will take place on June 7. However, the vote in the Haiti's Central Plateau has been cancelled due to fear of violence.

Government officials have claimed that turnout was 11% but many political organizations say it was 2-3% - consistent with a pre-election survey by the Florida-based advocacy organization Haiti Priorities Project (HPP). Regardless of the exact figure, no one is disputing that turnout was extremely low. U.S. Ambassador Janet Sanderson attempted to dismiss the significance of low turnout by saying

"Historically, off-year elections in the United States as well as in other countries tend not to be as well-attended as presidential elections. We'll have to see."

However, in 2006, turnout was 30%, according to UN officials, for legislative elections held months after Rene Preval won the presidency.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, gently chastised the Haitian people.

"Indifference is harmful for a democratic process that requires a strong interaction between political actors and governments".

In fact, outrage, rather than indifference, explains why voters stayed away. The boycott was provoked by the CEP's disqualification of candidates put forward by Famni Lavalas (FL), the party of deposed president Jean Bertrand Aristide. International donors, embarrassed by the CEP decision, were initially critical of the ban but soon opted to promise more aid for Haiti as a way to appease voters.

Eliminating FL was the objective of the 2004 coup backed primarily by US, France and Canada. Thousands of FL partisans were murdered during the two year rule of a UN backed dictatorship and hundreds became political prisoners. The FL base, overcoming countless obstacles to their participation, carried Rene Preval to victory in the presidential election of 2006. It was widely hoped that he would make it possible for Aristide to return to Haiti. He has disappointed the FL partisans many times since his election, but going along with the CEP's disqualification of FL appears to have been the last straw.

Increasingly bitter critics observe that Preval's LESPWA party is well positioned to prevail after the second round in June. Nine LESPWA candidates appear headed toward victory. It has been suggested that Preval's allies in the senate will then amend the Haitian constitution.

FL partisans sent a powerful message with the successful boycott. They have referred to it as "operation closed doors and empty streets." A group young people interviewed on a radio station said "We, in Bel Air, belong to Lavalas. Preval excluded us. We cannot vote today."

Cite Soleil, an FL stronghold with over 300 000 people, predictably shunned the election. An inhabitant of Cite Soeleil told a reporter "This election is not for us. It is for Preval. Lavalas are out we are out as well."

FL's message appears to have even reached the international press. An April 21 press report by AP reporter Jonathan Katz refers to FL as the "still-popular" party of Aristide.

Haiti Liberte reports that even a group of senators, led by Evaliere Beauplan, whose parties participated in the April 19 polling, dismissed the elections as a "farce" and called on Preval to apologize to the Haitian people.

After four tropical storms that ravaged Haiti last year, the $16 million wasted on this so-called election (which was postponed several times) could have used to help starving people.


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Here is the problem about

Here is the problem about politic in Haiti. No one and absolutely no one is able to see the problem of Haiti for lacking of common sense. We all are more idealist than pragmatic, “for the sake a nation to not say otherwise”. As Socrates mentioned that in his apology, it takes a whole system to teach the youths, and then it takes only one person to corrupt them. This implies that the system had, have, and probably will have a terrible problem. Who is responsible for that? Our grandparents, excluding the founders of the independence, are.

Back to Aristide and Preval, Aristide was a man of heart in 1990, but he was not ready for this king of office, which he claimed himself. BUT who did vote for him? All of you, why? Because you are brainless. Upon returning from exile, he has become an mercenary, a Papa doc,……..
And Preval himself knows who knows Aristide better than every single Haitian on earth will never ever make an effort to bring him BACK to HAITI. As a matter fact, both Aristide, and Preval can not do anything for Haiti, I don’t even need to talk about the others.
To be short, they ARE ALL patatis
Haiti needs new leaders with new education, new vision, new belief (not religion belief), and people who have respect for the children.

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reply

Michael collins.Who are you? probably you are being paid by t Preval,the bubbling idiot who is president of Haiti.Are you good friend of Andre Apaid, the sweat shop boss who was the leading opponent of Aristide.For those who have a short memory, it is important to remember that Aristide was kidnapped by Bush.Michael Collins must be an admirer of Bush.Same philosophy. He must be a fan of water boarding, the invasion of Iraq. Sleep well mr Collins, you are making good cash for your lies.

HAITIAN ELECTIONS

The International Community lied about turn outs in the first Haitian election in 1990. They claimed a high turn out when, in fact, it was something less than ten percent. The true average has been something around 5% with the April 19, 2009 seeing less than 1% voting.
Like the old Indian saying..."A dog walking beneath a loaded wagon believes he is carrying the weight".....Lavalas claims they are responsible for the low turn out - because they were barred from the process.
This is not so. Lavalas was out of the election because its members fragmented into two groups and could not decide upon candidates in a collective manner. There was one registered Lavalas party - not two. Aristide would not reognize either, and he IS their leader. Blame Aristide, not the rest of the world.
The low turn out was due to the fear and indifference of the majority. They have seen that the democratic process has done nothing more than make Lavalas politicians very rich while the 9,000,000 other Haitians have their standard of living diminish to nothing. Aristide left with something like $1.5 billion, not bad for a priest who had $75.00 in the Royal Bank during 1990!!
DEMOCRACY HAS NO CALORIES
We should forget this fixation with ballots and focus on education, work, medical facilities and the near zero Haitian ecological situation. The, $16,000,000 blown on the April 19 fiasco would buy a lot of medicine, rice and beans, for Haiti's starving children.

What the heck are you guys

What the heck are you guys talking about. You should read Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment and learn about how the media is lying to you about Lavalas and Aristide.

it is amazing to me that all

it is amazing to me that all over the world, partisans are willing to ignore the violence of those they support while disapproving of others doing similar things. FL has it's own history of violence in elecctions in Haiti, but that is ignored by it's supporters. maybe people would take this type of article more seriously if ALL violence by political parties were condemned instead of only that by those who oppose the particular position of the writer. what is not said in the article, but understood in Haiti, is that many did not vote out of fear of FL violence against them.

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