On December 7th, as previously announced, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council CEP released the preliminarily results of the November 28th disputed elections amid daily protests for the annulment of the vote, which many Haitians consider tainted. One can only speculate as to what would have happened had a great majority of the 4.7 million eligible voters cast their ballots on November 28th, considering that less than a quarter of the electorate voted in these elections and it took the CEP nine days to tally the vote.
According to the tally presented by the CEP president Gaillot Dorsinvil, which differed from the expectations of many, Préval’s handpicked candidate, Jude Célestin, received the second highest most votes 22.48 surpassing Michel Martelly. The popular singer, who claimed to have won 46.5 of the votes, came in third with 21.84, even though an obscure organization financed by the European Union (National Election Observation Council) had days before put him ahead of Jude Célestin. As such, Célestin will face Myrlande Manigat, a former first lady and the leading vote-getter 31.37, in the January 16th run-off. This inconsistency or rather confusing development is likely to add fuel to the already volatile situation and validates the notion of failed state that serves as basis for the occupation of Haiti. As a result of the November 28th travesty, the cholera epidemic, 2120 deaths so far, has now taken a back seat on the list of priorities of the U.N and the Haitian government. Despite a scientific report by French epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux pinpointing the outbreak to a Nepalese-manned base near a tributary of the Artibonite River, the U.N remains steadfast in its denial that its troops are responsible.
Funded by the international community to the tune of 29 million of dollars, these elections were supposed to showcase political progress amid the despair wrought by the January 12th earthquake, but the dynamic in place presaged what transpired on Nov 28th. Besides the presence of MINUSTAH, the imperial occupation forces, the exclusion of the country’s largest political party and the monopolization of the economy by Haiti’s elite families, the electorate had to contend with pitiable politicians whose thirst for power verged on the pathological. When history revisits these elections, its definite conclusion will be that the international community, which colluded with Préval to disenfranchise a majority of the electorate, had gotten its money worth. Any recount with an outcome different than that announced on December 7th will further discredit the process.
The statement of the head of the joint Organization of American States-Caribbean Community mission implying that the CEP could consider putting a third candidate in the runoff is paternalistic and highlights the duplicitous nature of the occupation. It clearly shows that the alleged mission to promote the “rule of law” in Haiti can be replaced by the “rule of necessity” as long as the latter serves the interests of the international community. Basically, the CEP is being ordered by these representatives of the international community to violate the Haitian Constitution in order to validate the electoral fraud perpetuated on behalf of the government-backed candidate and placate the supporters of a victimized candidate. Betting on everyone, the international community will likely emerge the winner in this convoluted and surreal atmosphere that calls for the Haitian people to seize control of their destiny or face the prospect of genocide.
Stability under the barrel of guns is at best ephemeral, a time-honored reality that continues to escape the attention of the self-appointed nation-builders in this world. The widespread disturbances over the election results will likely die down, since they do not address the overriding issue, which remains the illegal occupation of the country (2004-?). In the name of stability (subjective), this occupation has turned Haiti into a plantation where a select group of Haitians conspired with the international community to subjugate the population. Under Gérard Latortue, the imperial prime minister 2004-06, impunity and unaccountability became an institutionalized form of government at par with the worst dictatorships Haiti had endured throughout its 206-year history. Though the extrajudicial executions of innocent Haitian citizens that took place under Latortue were, in legal parlance, crimes against humanity, the buffoon former prime minister was allowed to ride into a golden exile and never held accountable for his criminal deeds.
One can only hope the unconcealed attempt at subverting the Constitution on November 28th finally brings the rule of law in Haiti. For this to happen, Préval and his minions at the CEP must account for the lives that were lost and their Machiavellian deed, which could plunge the country into anarchy. Such precedent will deter future presidents from destroying the foundation upon which Haiti must stand in order to prosper, protect its identity and sovereignty from predatory countries that never ceased to deny its people their rightful place in the family of nations.
Though we are living in an interdependent world and political relations with other countries are essential to progress and development, this reality however does not require Haiti to belong to collective international organizations, which he predates by more than a century. The paternalistic and harmful attitude of these political bodies toward Haiti calls for a reassessment of the country’s membership in these organizations which, thus far, has caused more harm than good as it correlates to its sovereignty and its people’s inalienable right to self-determination.
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