Haiti. A democratic election is an act of sovereignty, but in an occupied country we can’t talk about this

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By Mario Hernandez / The Dawn


Last Friday, the day after knowing the preliminary results of the Haitian election, clashes were registered in the streets of Port au Prince, in which a Platform for the Children of Dessalines follower died. Their candidate, Jean Charles Moise would be the 3rd candidate with the most votes according to the Electoral Council. After the election, on October 25th, we analyze the political situation with Henry Boisrolin.


Mario Hernandez: In communication with Henry Boisrolin, from the Democratic Haitian Committee, to discuss the elections in that country. In Aporrea.org* the information talked about a normal development of the elections. I found that strange given the situation previous to the election, which involved several deaths and clashes between people and the police, in Cité Soleil.


Henry Boisrolin: Firstly, I think our companions of Aporrea made a mistake when they qualified the elections of October 25th as fair elections. What is going on is a two-stage strategy: in the legislative election on August 9th, tremendous violence was recorded, with burning of ballot boxes and shootings, but nevertheless they said those were fair and uneventful elections: this was a first step, because those in power and their allies want to dominate the future conformation of the Parliament, so they appointed two senators and 8 deputies in the first round. The rest of the candidates who were in a position of competing in the second round, which was made on October 25th, are mostly people who belong to the government.


Secondly, as there were many complaints and many proofs, they chose to deploy the police to show that they were doing their jobs, they arrested 200 people, they put surveillance cameras, drones, etc. During the morning there were a few incidents, similar to the ones of August 9, but none of them had a great magnitude. At 16:00, at closing time, groups that were costumed as the Red Cross and other disguises, appeared, entered, seized ballot boxes and in some centers, they kept the overseers of the voting center from attending the partial scrutiny, which had to be send to the computation center. Only overseers from some parties were allowed to stay, the rest were kicked out.  


On the next day, Senator Jean Charles Moise called a judge so that he could take note of the finding of polls that had not been transported to Port au Prince. We suppose that they were discarded because they had votes that didn’t benefit the official candidate, Jovenel Moise. In Haiti, everyone knows that the Electoral Council will proclaim Moise as a winner in the first round or in the ballot on December 27th; this is no secret to anyone. That’s why many candidates for the presidency called a press conference make sure they will not accept the results, and will demand respect for the popular will.


In terms of participation, some talk about 30%, and others 25%. On August 9 they had registered 18%. If we accept the figure that the government gave, 70% of the population that did not attend the polls, therefore, a President who is elected by a fraction of such low percentage of the population, can not have sufficient legitimacy.


Another thing is that Family Lavalas party affirms that their candidate won in the first round, while supporters of former Senator Jean Charles Moise say that he won and followers of candidate Jude Celestin proclaim him as a winner. Celestin was forced out of the 2010 elections by the “international community”, in favour of Martelly.


I argue that a democratic election is an act of sovereignty, but in an occupied country we can’t talk about this, in a country where the Programme of the United Nations is responsable of decreeing and paying members of the Electoral Council, paying for the printing of the ballots, etc. It’s clear that there is no sovereignty in this election. In a country where there haven’t been any democratic elections for four years, the Parliament can’t control anything, and Martelly rules by decree. We are not talking about an election, but a “selection”, it is already known who they will chose, as per usual.


Obviously, this election is a tree that should not prevent us from seeing the wood, because the situation is much more serious, this is just one more straw on the camel’s back. We are facing a post-election crisis where no one can know for sure what the consequences will be. After August 9th, a Civil Resistance Area was created, which is currently requesting the annulment of this farce, the resignation of all members of the Electoral Committee, the resignation of President Martelly, who was  imposed by members of the international community, and the creation of a transitional government. Next week, when they announce the results they intend to announce, most will people will be against it, and the ranks of this new space of resistance will be larger. Many foresee chaos, because there will be many demonstrations, repression, riots, burning, etc. Nobody is going to accept this.


MH: You were just telling me that you might be traveling to Montevideo, where different activities are being organized about the Haitian situation.

HB: In Uruguay, the Uruguayan Coordinator is working for the withdrawal of MINUSTAH troops. Given the seriousness of what happened on August 9 during the legislative election, the farce of October 25 and the possibility that the country is heading towards a very serious crisis, and as Uruguay is still retaining its troops in MINUSTAH, colleagues understand that it is time to denounce and demand once again that the Uruguayan government withdraws its troops.

There will be a series of interviews, even including a meeting with the new cardinal in Montevideo, appointed by Pope Francisco. I will do many interventions in the press, and there we will hold an act of solidarity with Haiti and Palestine, on Friday, in which I will participate as a speaker.


MH: I hope that we can communicate after your return from this activity and we can expand the impact on the Uruguayan public.


HB: Off course. And I repeat, there is no election in Haiti, only a selection, it is a tragic farce, there are deaths, injuries, people’s will is not respected, it is not an act of sovereignty and people understand very well that the solution to their problems will not be achieved by this selection with maneuvers that emulate the mafia.


*Aporrea.org is a Web site which provides news and opinion of the socio-political and cultural life, identified with Venezuela’s process of revolutionary transformation.

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