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Haiti: Fanmi Lavalas and the next elections

Last weekend, the Haitian blogosphere was buzzing about the exclusion of political parties from the April 2009 Senatorial elections by the Conseil Electoral Provisoire or Temporary Electoral Council – and on Friday January 6th, the CEP published a list of the candidates for the next democratic parliamentary elections in Haiti. Vario Sérant presents in Alterpresse [Fr] a list of the rejected candidates:

Autre candidat évincé : le PDG de Cœurs Unis David Chéry qui était en lice sous le parapluie de l’Alliance pour l’avancement d’Haïti (ALAH).

Fin de course également pour le dirigeant du Front pour la reconstruction nationale (FRN), Guy Philippe.

Another rejected candidate is the CEO of “Coeurs Unis” David Chéry, who was enlisted with “Alliance pour l’avancement d’Haïti ” (Alyans).

It is also over for the leader of the “Front pour la reconstruction nationale” (the National Reconstruction Front), Guy Philippe.

In the list published by the Temporary Electoral Council, only two thirds of the candidates enlisted were accepted into the competition, but the most surprising thing has been the rejection of all the candidates of Fanmi Lavalas. The famous Radiokiskeya talks about this decision here [Fr]:

Le Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) a publié dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi la liste des 65 candidats, sur un total de 105, admis à participer aux sénatoriales partielles du 19 avril 2009.

Aucun des candidats des deux listes de Fanmi lavalas (parti de l’ancien président Jean Bertrand Aristide) n’a été retenu. Les deux listes avaient été soumises par deux factions rivales de Lavalas.

Late on Thursday night, the Temporary Electoral Council published a list of 65 candidates out of 105, who are allowed to run for the Senatorial by-elections on April 19th 2009.

None of the candidates from any of the two Fanmi Lavalas (party of the former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide) lists were kept in. Both lists were presented by two rival branches from Lavalas.

Many reasons have been put forward to explain this total rejection, like this one from radiokiskeya:

La plupart des candidats évincés par l’institution électorale ont dû faire face à des allégations d’implication dans des activités criminelles et dans le trafic illicite de la drogue, formulées par le Réseau National des Organisations de Défense des droits humains (RNDDH), la Police Nationale d’Haïti (PNH) et la Justice.

Most of the candidates rejected by the Electoral Council were accused of being involved into criminal affairs and illegal drug trafficking, either by the national network of human rights watchdogs, Haiti National Police and Justice.

In HaitiRectoVerso, Decky Lakyel reports on the statement of Frantz Verret, president of the Electoral Council, as he explained the decision to reject all Lavalas candidates [Fr]:

‘On a tenu compte des dossiers soumis par chaque candidat’, ajoute t-il. ‘Les candidats de Fanmi Lavalas n'avaient pas l'attestation de leur parti’, explique t-il refusant de faire des commentaires sur les problèmes internes du parti d'Aristide.

‘We only considered the applications submitted by each candidate,’ he added. ‘The candidates of Fanmi Lavalas did not present any documentary evidence from their party’, he explained without commenting on the inner problems of Aristide's political party.

But it is in the last part of this same post that one of the most controversial explanations can be found [Fr]:

‘Nous avons appliqué la loi électorale et la constitution’, assure M. Verret pour qui tous les acteurs doivent faire des efforts pour respecter la première loi électorale d'Haïti. Par ailleurs, le président du CEP souligne que le chef de l'état n'a, en aucune manière, influencé la décision de l'organisme électoral.

‘We have abidden by the electoral law and the Constitution,’ swears Mr Verret, who thinks that all the protagonists have to strive to respect the first electoral law of Haiti. Besides, the president of the Electoral council stresses that the Haitian President [René Préval], has not, in any way, swayed the decision of the council.

The fact that Verret denies the influence of the President is not coincidental, since many think that it was done against former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The rejection of the 40 candidates (among which 11 are from Lavalas) has triggered several reactions – and quite important ones at that – as we can read from this thread on Forum Haiti [Fr/Creole]. According to radiokiskeya, who was quoted many times, both the USA and Canada [Fr] have expressed their discontent at the supposedly biased rejection of some candidates:

Janet Ann Sanderson Ambassadeur USA en Haiti […] souligne que dans les Etats démocratiques ‘les élections honnêtes et démocratiques sont inclusives et non exclusives’ et doivent aider à ‘l’unification de la démocratie’ à travers l’implication de tous les principaux partis politiques.

Janet Ann Sanderson, Ambassador of the USA in Haiti […] insists on the fact that in democratic states ‘honest and democratic elections are inclusive and not exclusive’ and aim at supporting ‘the unification of democracy’ thanks to the involvement of all main political parties.

Probably strengthened by this external support, Lavalas has decided to appeal the Electoral Council decision, even though the Council has announced that its decision is final:

Le porte-parole de l’institution électorale, Frantz Bernadin, a cependant fait savoir vendredi à des journalistes que le CEP, étant le contentieux électoral par excellence, sa décision concernant les candidats admis est sans appel.

The spokesman of the Temporary Electoral Council, Frantz Bernadin, informed the journalists on Friday [Jan. 6th] that since the Council is the ultimate electoral appeal court, its decision concerning the enlisted candidates cannot be appealed.

5 comments

  • […] was known by his admirers as a champion of the poor and an ardent supporter of the Fanmi Lavalas political party, headed by ousted President Jean Bertrand […]

  • […] mpakafy azy amin'ny maha-tompondakan'ny mahantra azy sy mpanohana mafana fo ny antoko pôlitika Fanmi Lavalas , tarihan'ilay Filoha voaongana Jean Bertrand […]

  • As widely predicted, Haiti’s senatorial elections of April 19 were boycotted by the overwhelming majority of the electorate. Two days ago, as if to deliberately invite more ridicule, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced that there were no winners in the first round for 12 vacant senate seats that were contested.

  • […] Excerpt The Caribbean blogosphere is busy tonight, discussing very sad news – an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale struck off the coast of Haiti, causing major damage and loss of life in the already besieged island nation. […]

  • […] مما تسبب في أضرار جسيمة وخسائر في الأرواح في هذه الجزيرة المحاصرة […]

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