Does Preval Refuse to Revamp the Electoral Council?
Jacques Dady Jean
– Last week, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana
advised Haitian President Rene Preval to revamp
the contested electoral council in order to raise
trust and confidence among Haitian voters.
Soon after, Preval closed all doors to the
possibility of negotiating Lugar’s proposal.
primary obstacle to the socio-economic development
of Haiti and the chronic poverty of the island is
the result of a corrupted political culture, a
lack of or no commitment of Haitian leaders to
democracy and the double standard of Washington
policies on Haiti. You don’t have to be a genius
to understand that democracy is essential to the
development of any nation. For many years
anti-democratic governments have led Haiti; every
attempt to move toward democracy has been
disrupted by a coup d’etat or an armed revolt
sponsored by traditional dominating clans composed
of light skin Haitians and foreign diplomats.
and development have become buzzwords when it
comes to any conversation about Haiti, but little
or nothing has been done to engage Haiti in a
realistic strategic development planning process.
The earthquake that ravaged Haiti and killed more
than 250,000 people was an opportunity for all
nations to show their friendship and commitment to
help Haiti moving toward that change by making
generous financial contributions.
What the Obama administration and the UN
decision makers do not understand is that money is
not the fundamental problem in Haiti; the
earthquake was just an occurrence that exacerbated
the crisis, but not the cause. Chile was affected
by an earthquake as well, but the country was
quick to begin recovery because they have a
has become a liability for both the US and the
Dominican Republic. If the US has the resources
necessary to welcome Haitian migrants, we can only
wonder how long the Dominican Republic will be
able to continue to welcome Haitian refugees and
at the same time sustain its economic growth. We
have to move fast toward establishing a democracy
in Haiti. The US and the UN must be serious about
helping Haiti and Haitian leaders must take their
responsibility to avoid the worst outcome.
US state department should not invest our tax
money to support any international political
activities that yield the possibility of civil or
political rights violations. Ameliorating the
social and economic condition of Haiti is
imperative to stop the escalating violence and for
the sake of the national security of Haiti’s
closest neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
that context, the first step toward helping to
develop Haiti should be implementing and promoting
basic democratic rules and principles, and
developing an educational system to prepare
leaders for the future.
should the US spend 10 million dollars of
taxpayers’ contributions to fund an election
that will be organized by an allegedly corrupt
electoral council rejected by all the candidates?
strength of the US resides on its democracy, its
fundamental religious virtues and moral values.
The Preval administration and its electoral
council have denied the principles of liberty,
equality, freedom and democracy that the US stands
for. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has
continued to support this corrupt regime.
Lavalas is the largest political party in Haiti
and the party of the charismatic leader, Jean
Bertrand Aristide. During the past few years, the
Preval administration and Haiti’s electoral
council have unlawfully denied Lavalas members the
right to run for public office and that shocking
and anti-democratic determination was engineered
by diplomats from the US, French and Canadian
embassies. This is the double standard of
US government has not projected to the world the
ultimate value that Americans stand for and their
commitment to democracy and human rights. Is it shameful for us to hear Afghan leaders make allegations
that the electoral fraud in Afghanistan’s last
election was the deed of US operatives?
Are we going to sit back and let Preval
steal the election from the Haitian people? We
believe in fair elections and this is what we
expect our leaders to promote around the world.
I believe Senator Lugar is on the right
path by advocating for fair elections in Haiti. We
all know that the current electoral council cannot
organize a fair election.
Haiti’s electoral council is not a legitimate
government entity created according to Haiti’s
Constitution; the current members of this council
are hand picked by the leaders of a few select
organizations and serve as judges to settle
conflicts pertaining to all election matters in
Haiti. All the Haitian candidates want is to bring
more credible members to the electoral council
before holding the election, just as Senator Lugar
urged. In most legal systems, judges can be forced
to excuse themselves from a case if there is
reasonable evidence to demonstrate that they will
not be able to make an impartial judgment in a
week, Rene Preval denounced with rigor the
interference of foreign leaders in the internal
affairs of his country, while the international
community pays for his rent, food and security. I
am sure that Preval does not have the guts to
criticize and rebuff some
realistic suggestions made by Senator Lugar who
urged him to negotiate with the international
community to revamp Haiti's nine-member electoral
council. Preval had to be asked by someone to
undermine the senator’s request. I would be very
offended if I later find out that France or Canada
dictated these words to him. I hope it was someone
in the US State Department who told him to respond
addition to the fact that the current members of
Haiti’s electoral council have been accused of
corruption, the ill decisions made in previous
elections to facilitate Preval’s political party
to have a majority in the senate and house of
representatives is good testimony that the
integrity of this institution is soiled. Rene
Preval has no other choice but to negotiate with
the international community and the Haitian
leaders to overhaul the electoral council or the
country will get deeper into a politically and
economically unstable environment.
hope the Obama’s administration will not
encourage Rene Preval in his plans to pick his
successor and keep control of the country after
February 7, 2011.
Dady Jean is the President of the Mattapan School
of Technology and CEO of Town Computer Advanced
Technology Service Provider. He can be reached at