Demokrasi sou Poz nan Ayiti/Democracy on Hold in Haiti

A runoff election on Sunday for president in Haiti was postponed indefinitely late last week. The decision made sense, because with protesters in the streets, violence and gunfire and the torching of electoral offices, it was clear that any vote would be marred by bloodshed and chaos.

It was also good because, with only one candidate participating, any result would be ludicrous and fraudulent.

That candidate is Jovenel Moïse, a political unknown who is the handpicked successor to President Michel Martelly, whose term is up. Mr. Moïse finished first in a first-round election in October, but that election was so tainted by accusations of rigged voting and intimidation that the runner-up, Jude Célestin, denounced the result and refused to campaign in round 2.

Mr. Célestin’s argument, echoed by other opposition politicians, church and business leaders, members of the Haitian diaspora and human rights groups, is that the country’s fragile democracy faces a crisis of legitimacy. Only by fully investigating last year’s elections — including legislative elections in August that were also the subject of violence and fraud — and reforming the voting process can the country produce a government worthy of the citizens’ trust. Earlier this month members of the Haitian Senate voted to urge that the runoff be postponed.

Mr. Martelly, naturally, disagreed, wanting to deposit his man in power before he leaves office on Feb. 7, as the Constitution requires. Late last week, as protests mounted, Mr. Martelly was still insisting that the election had to be held. He had the support of the United States, which has already spent more than $33 million on the election, the Organization of American States and other foreign governments that had been pressuring Haitian officials to proceed. Only when the threat of violence became overwhelming did Haiti’s election officials decide to call things off.

In a statement on Sunday, the State Department said, “The United States reaffirms its support for credible, transparent and secure elections that reflect the will of the Haitian people.”

Well, yes, that would be good. But the conditions that permit such elections do not exist in Haiti now, and are not going to suddenly emerge in the next two weeks. They have not been nurtured for the last five years by President Martelly, who displays the strongman tendencies of Haiti’s worst rulers, and who bears much responsibility for the crisis, having not called local and parliamentary elections for years. The terms of practically every elected official in the country have expired, allowing Mr. Martelly to rule by decree since January 2015.

Haiti was devastated by an earthquake six years ago this month. The rest of the world, particularly its neighbor the United States, rushed in 2010 with promises to help rebuild Haiti’s shattered buildings and institutions. The job, tragically, was left undone, complicated by an imported cholera epidemic and continuing economic suffering. Now, Haiti is on the precipice again, because of a man-made disaster of dirty elections, an unsavory president and the threat of crippling instability.

The best result would be Mr. Martelly’s departure, a brief period of transitional government and swift agreement among Haitian leaders on a program of electoral reform that enables free and fair elections. Haiti, with the support of the international community, must emerge from the crisis with a politics worthy of its people.

 CREOLE

Yo te fè yon eleksyon dezyèm tou nan Dimanch pou prezidan an Ayiti ranvwaye endefiniman an reta semèn pase a. Pran desizyon an te fè sans, paske avèk manifestan nan lari, vyolans la ak anpil kout zam ak torching a nan biwo elektoral, li te klè ke ta nenpòt vòt dwe sal pa san koule ak dezòd.

Li te tou bon paske, ki gen yon sèl kandida k ap patisipe, nenpòt rezilta ta dwe komik ak fwod.

Sa kandida se Jovenel Moïse, yon unknown politik ki moun ki se siksesè a handpicked a Prezidan Michel Martelly, ki gen tèm se leve. Mesye Moïse fini premye nan yon eleksyon premye-wonn nan mwa Oktòb, men sa eleksyon te tèlman tache pa akizasyon nan truke vòt ak entimidasyon ki moun kap kouri-up, Jude Célestin, denonse rezilta a ak refize kanpay nan wonn 2.

Agiman Mesye Célestin an, répéta pa politisyen lòt opozisyon an, lidè legliz ak biznis, manm nan dyaspora ayisyen an ak gwoup dwa moun, se ke demokrasi frajil nan peyi a fè fas a yon kriz nan lejitimite. Se sèlman pa konplètman mennen ankèt sou eleksyon ane pase a – ki gen ladan eleksyon lejislatif nan mwa Out ki te tou sijè a nan vyolans ak fwod – ak refòme pwosesis la pou vote ka peyi a pwodui yon gouvènman merite pou yo mete konfyans sitwayen yo ‘. Manm Nan kòmansman mwa a nan Sena a ayisyen te vote sa yo ankouraje pou yo seleksyon sa a ranvwaye.

Mesye Martelly, natirèlman, dakò, vle depoze nonm l ‘nan pouvwa anvan li kite biwo sou 7 fevriye, kòm Konstitisyon an mande. Fen semèn pase a, kòm manifestasyon monte, Mesye Martelly te toujou ensiste ke eleksyon an te dwe fèt. Li te gen sipò an nan peyi Etazini an, ki te deja pase plis pase $ 33 milyon dola sou eleksyon an, Òganizasyon Eta Ameriken yo ak lòt gouvènman etranje ki te presyon ofisyèl ayisyen kontinye. Se sèlman lè menas la nan vyolans te vin akablan te fè ofisyèl eleksyon Ayiti a deside rele bagay la.

Nan yon deklarasyon nan Dimanch, Depatman Deta a te di, “Etazini te reafime sipò li pou eleksyon kredib, transparan ak sekirite ki reflete volonte a nan pèp ayisyen an.”

Oke, repons lan se wi, ki ta ka bon. Men, kondisyon sa yo ki pèmèt eleksyon sa yo pa egziste nan Ayiti kounye a, ak yo pa ale nan toudenkou pwezante nan de semèn kap vini yo. Yo pa yo te nouri pou senk dènye ane yo pa Prezidan Martelly, ki moun ki montre tandans yo gwo ponyèt nan pi move chèf Ayiti a, epi ki pote anpil responsablite pou kriz la, pa gen rele eleksyon lokal yo ak palmantè pou ane. Kondisyon ki nan pratikman tout ofisyèl eli nan peyi a te ekspire, sa ki pèmèt Mesye Martelly ak règ pa dekrè depi janvye 2015.

Ayiti te devaste pa yon tranbleman tè sis zan de sa mwa sa a. Rès la nan mond lan, patikilyèman frè parèy li yo Etazini yo, kouri nan 2010 ak pwomès yo ede rebati kraze bilding ak enstitisyon an Ayiti. Travay la, trajik, yo te kite ti mouton, konplike pa yon epidemi kolera enpòte ak kontinye soufrans ekonomik. Koulye a, Ayiti se sou goufr a ankò, paske yo gen yon moun yo te fè dezas nan eleksyon sal, yon prezidan louch ak menas la nan kap kwape enstabilite.

Rezilta a pi bon ta dwe depa Mesye Martelly a, yon peryòd kout nan gouvènman tranzisyon ak akò rapid nan mitan lidè ayisyen sou yon pwogram nan refòm elektoral ki pèmèt eleksyon lib e onèt. Ayiti, ak sipò nan kominote entènasyonal la, yo dwe sòti nan kriz la ak yon politik merite pou yo moun li yo.

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