PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – The Obama administration will have to take note that former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide denounced the August 9, 2015 elections, paid with $38 million American tax dollars, as an electoral coup d’etat.
The “charismatic leader” of the Fanmi Lavalas political party was projected to be at the old airport runway in Port-au-Prince, where his party would open campaigning for the presidency. Furthermore, it would be his first speech since returning to Haiti in 2011 and on the 24th anniversary of the 1991 military coup against his administration. It drew tens of thousands of citizens with flags and songs of praise for the former president.
The Lavalas candidate for president, Maryse Narcisse, told the crowd that the former president would not be present which made the masses turn towards his private residence, marching through Cite Soleil – which is among several impoverished communities which were not given the opportunity to vote on August 9.
They marched through the airport route, Gerald Bataille, and on to the Tabarre district of Port-au-Prince where Aristide has been in his private residence, all but one day, since returning to Haiti in 2011. Barely outside of the gates of the property, the 62 year old priest climbed the back of a flatbed truck where he spoke.
The discourse touched every sector of national society, educators, health care professionals, even the Haitian Diaspora, whom Aristide said “thirst to return home.” The president called for all to “mobilize to avoid make the bad, worse”.
To those ends, Aristide told the electorate to vote for the Fanmi Lavalas candidate for president, Maryse Narcisse. In a blue dress she stood next to him as he raise her hand high.
The speech including a striking denunciation of the electoral process that continues to march forward. Aristide called the August 9, 2015 legislative elections an “electoral coup d’etat.”
It was a day that drew an abysmal 18% voter turnout according to the electoral council but local and international observation groups report a 4-5% voter turnout. It was a day of gun violence, vandalism, voter intimidation, impunity and irregularities that favored ruling party candidates and their allies.
Haitians declared the events of August 9, 2015 a “masquerade” as well. The $38 million paid by U.S. taxpayers for that day are more than four times the going rate for elections in nations of similar or greater populations around the world. For example, Rwanda, with a larger population than Haiti, pays $8 million for its elections of better quality.
In Haiti, tens of millions of dollars get lost in corruption and the Obama Clinton foreign policy, an outdated cold war policy that serves only the ends of the Clintons’ personal interest, is the reason for the current and worsening crisis.
Fanmi Lavalas is part of a majority of more than 120 registered political parties and groups that have either called for corrections or the nullification of the August 9, 2015 vote. All have called for resignation of the President of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), Pierre Louis Opont.
Some of the more powerful political parties formed a coalition and began organizing protests for, at least, a re-calibration of the electoral process. These parties also pulled their candidates out of the elections, although some not officially.
The active campaigning of the Fanmi Lavalas candidate for president has been received poorly among Haitian citizens who see it as a duality of position. While protesting for changes in a process broken by gun violence, vandalism, ballot stuffing, impunity and irregularities that favor candidates of the ruling party and ally, Fanmi Lavalas moves headlong into the process.
It is a calculation that its candidate, Maryse Narcisse, is making, believing that even if all deteriorates on election day, October 25, 2015, she will have a street mobilization capable of overturning the results. Byen konte, mal kalkile.
The popularity for Jean-Bertrand Aristide hasn’t transferred to Narcisse as the party’s leadership would have hoped. She has neither carved herself an image that most Haitians, many Lavalassiennes even, could identify and follow. Many have entered the camps of Jean-Charles Moïse, Samuel Madistin or Erick Jean-Baptiste.
Obama-Clinton has the final say