Haiti: vote postponed again

On Nov. 16 Rosemond Pradel, general secretary of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), announced that presidential, legislative and local elections, already postponed twice, are being rescheduled to Dec. 27. Runoffs, if required, will be held on Jan. 31. Haiti’s Constitution requires the new government to take office on Feb. 7. Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue confirmed the new dates in a telephone interview on Nov. 17. “The decision is firm and final,” he said. But Patrick Fequiere, head of operations for the CEP, told reporters he was “completely in the dark about this business.”

Voters are to select the president, 27 senators and 83 legislative deputies, along with mayors and other local functionaries. The original plan was for municipal elections on Oct. 9, presidential and legislative elections on Nov. 13 and th runoffs on Dec. 18. (Haiti Support Group News Briefs, Nov. 17 from AP; Agence Haitienne de Presse, Nov. 17)

On Nov. 3 thousands of supporters of Haiti’s biggest party, the left-populist Lavalas Family (FL) of deposed president Jean- Bertrand Aristide, demonstrated in Port-au-Prince in favor of former president Rene Garcia Preval (1996-2001), the presidential candidate of the Lespwa (“Hope”) coalition. FL backers described him as the man who would facilitate the return of Aristide from exile in South Africa. (HSG, Nov. 3 from AlterPresse) Other Lavalas elements are backing former World Bank economist Marc Bazin. Adding to the confusion, on Oct. 20 Aristide spokesperson Maryse Narcisse issued a press release denying “energetically” that Aristide had backed candidates for the “elections/selections.” For “free, honest and democratic elections” to take place, Narcisse said, FL members in jail would have to be freed and exiles would have to be returned to Haiti; “the repression that has already provoked more than 10,000 deaths must end immediately”; and there should be a “national dialogue.” (Haiti Progres, NY, Oct. 26)

See our last post on Haiti.

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Nov. 20

  1. those in power now, would not
    those in power now, would not like to see an elected government. They liked it the path the country is leading now. They are all opportunisms. They enjoy the lavished style of a president and a prime minister. Latortue will not settle for less than being prime minister. Sorry to say, the U.S has some explanation to the people of haiti. Why you people of the media constantly hide the truth from the public, From pshycology 101 you know for fact the United States, France would not like to see some one like Aristide to take the controle of the country.

    1. Would you like to see someone
      Would you like to see someone like aristide come back to power? I certainly wouldn’t. One thing i know for sure, is that it’s a good thing these elections are being postponed, the country is not ready yet, a fraction of the work to do still needs to be done to make sure everyone can vote… So that whatever happens, the people decide their fate, such is the nature of democracy. Many say that the people cannot decide for themselves, due to a lack of general information on the candidates in some rural areas for example, but often, those who say that have interests of their own to protect in Haiti. Much work needs to be done to set the country on the right path again, a democratic vote is nothing compared to the sheer magnitude of reconstruction and re-infrastructuralisation, anti-corruption work and social organisation that needs to be done, we are almost starting at zero.