Hear my cries, I’m hurting!
Port-au-Prince, Haiti–The Nov. 28 Haitian elections helped gain real insights into the state of the country on various levels, all inside one weekend when democracy was supposed to shine and lift the country’s morale above the debris, cholera’s death grip and ineffective governance to help the battered nation paint some vague picture of a not so distant horizon.
To no one’s surprise, Haitians are mentally fatigued from a tumultuous year that some have compared to 1804, the year of the country’s independence, characterized by rivers of blood and the smell of death. The elections offered and delicate yet legitimate channel for the people to let out their cries of discontent with current developments. Those who stayed home, apparently a great deal, were captivating with their symbolic speech: your priorities are not ours. After all, cholera has a bounty on their heads, tropical storm Thomas is somewhere laughing with mom, dad and uncle Pete’s shadows, and eviction notices keep claiming their inhabitable tents.
Others however, braved the elements for their freedom of expression: fatigued or not, their fate was the priority and necessitated a proactive stance. Amidst uncertainties, poor organization and lack of adequate leadership, they charged forward: the alternatives were unacceptable.
On the other side of the spectrum, some alternate universe was the dirty dozen plus five, salivating over the prospect of 10 billion big ones in promised aid. Surely, the people would see some of it. However, in a rare, emotional symbol, they united against INITE, the incumbent party, said to have staged a highway robbery of the presidency in broad daylight. They realized, at that point, they stood to lose it all: the elections, presidency, $10 billions and their picture in world history books. Therefore, 12 of the 18 remaining candidates sang in unison: cancel the ongoing elections.
It is unclear how much forward thinking went into the process, but the voters were emotional, angry and malleable, so they follow the leads of the entertainers rejecting business as usual in the most usual way.
The entertainers’ command revealed their mastery of their domain: Michel Martelly and disqualified candidate Wyclef know how to excite a crowd. The rest of the candidates simply followed their leads never once verifying the claims of fraud and irregularities, consulting the authorities or the international observers to validate their stance. Such actions would reflect competence clever leadership or even some diplomatic skills. Instead, these would be presidents brought the electorate on the edge of chaos and destruction protesting unverified claims, actions that would undoubtedly scared away the reluctant donors and their wallets. In fact, the UN has lately been singing such a tune through its representative Mulet: ‘I will leave you with your imported cholera, no security and no money if you do not settle down.’
Interestingly, the complete disconnect of incumbent President Rene Preval with the Haitian reality surfaced. He is a fallen hero, the only president to have successfully completed two full-term in office since the declaration of independence on January 1, 1804. Acknowledging the peoples’ obvious disapproval of his performance, he contemplated life in exile and did not like the prospect; hence, he forced his hands trying to keep his party in power through Jude Celestin, his unwed son-in-law and father of 13. Préval’s blatant disregard of the clear conflict of interest coupled with the fraudulent allegations of his party have shredded any perceived credibility he thought he had; now exile may not only be imminent, it may even be enviable.
As expected, the shortsighted consensus of the dirty dozens was short-lived. Recently the candidates have had to boogie dance to UN’s threats, the real boss, and forced to abandon their earlier cancellation rhetoric. They are learning it is not enough to be a rebel or renegade, but pragmatic leadership is a necessity.
There, at the crossroad of confusion and exhaustion, lie the desperate cries of this resilient people in search of a leader, a rupture with its tainted legacy and path to restore its dignity and sovereignty.
- Haiti waits for election results amid fraud, chaos (ctv.ca)
- Tense Haiti awaits results of turbulent elections (reuters.com)
- Haiti waits for election results amid fraud, chaos (foxnews.com)
- Haitians wait anxiously for election results (cnn.com)
- Haiti election result expected to trigger presidential runoff vote(guardian.co.uk)
- Haitians Wonder What Happens Now (theroot.com)
- VIDEO: Viceroy of Haiti, UN’s Edmond Mulet, Interferes with Candidates and Threatens Departure of MINUSTAH if Election Invalidated!(hcvanalysis.wordpress.com)
- Haiti’s Presidential Vote: Outrage Over a ‘Selection’ (time.com)
- Haiti’s Presidential Hopefuls Face Hopeless Voters – NPR (news.google.com)
- Haiti’s Elections Marred by Allegations of Voter Fraud (time.com)