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25960: Haiti Progres (news) This Week in Haiti 23:22 8/10/2005 (fwd)
From: Haïti Progrès <email@example.com>
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"Le journal qui offre une alternative"
* THIS WEEK IN HAITI *
August 10 - 16, 2005
Vol. 23, No. 22
LAVALAS FAMILY REGISTERS TO PARTICIPATE IN SHAM ELECTIONS
The Lavalas Family party (FL) of exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide
has registered to participate in Haiti's occupation-run nationwide
elections scheduled for later this fall, much to the dismay of the party
's popular base.
Former FL parliamentarians Rudy Hériveaux, Louis Gérald Gilles and Yvon
Feuillé registered the party at the Port-au-Prince electoral
headquarters on the afternoon of Aug. 8, the final day for parties to
file. No deadline has yet been set for parties to name their candidates.
To date, Aristide has not personally repudiated the outspoken threesome
for their entrance into the occupation elections on the party's behalf.
For weeks preceding their registration, the three former
parliamentarians repeatedly announced that they would run and claimed to
be in touch with Aristide.
"We registered to participate in the election, which we will win, in
order to end the political persecutions, arbitrary arrests and
detentions and the summary executions our members and sympathizers have
been subject to," Hériveaux told Reuters.
But most of the FL's "members and sympathizers" targeted by the de facto
regime unequivocally reject any participation in the "selections," as
they are called on the street, saying the Washington-promoted polling is
just an attempt to consummate and legitimize the Feb. 29, 2004 coup in
which U.S. Special Forces soldiers kidnapped and exiled Aristide. In
past months, several high-level FL councils have also rejected
participation in the occupation elections.
"There are many positions taken by the Lavalas Family, and that of
Gilles, Hériveaux and Feuillé is one of the positions," said Ben Dupuy,
secretary general of the National Popular Party (PPN), which along with
several FL-affiliated popular organizations has called on the Haitian
people to shun the elections and fingerprint-and-photo-bearing electoral
cards. "We don't see how their participation in a farce will lead to the
freedom of the political prisoners they claim to champion. The
leadership has not set the record clear. Nobody knows who is the real
Lavalas. But it is clear that the grassroots, the base, has borne the
brunt of the repression, and they stick to the position of demanding a
return to constitutional rule and the physical return of President
Aristide before any elections. The PPN stands with the victims of
repression and not with politicians who are trying make a deal with the
Lavarice Gaudin, a leader of the Miami-based popular organization Veye
Yo, also pointed to the FL's confusing conduct. "The problem is not
really with Gilles, Feuillé and Hériveaux, who everyone knows are
renegades," Gaudin said at the weekly Veye Yo meeting in Miami on Aug.
5. "The problem is the rest of the Lavalas leadership which tolerates
them. Why are they still in the party? Why can they speak in its name?
Is there no discipline? Even look at [former FL senator] Dany Toussaint,
who openly called for Aristide's overthrow. He has never been expelled."
Since the coup, Haiti has been repressively and disastrously ruled by
Washington-selected puppet technocrats and militarily occupied, first by
the U.S., France and Canada (the coup's sponsors) and presently by the
Brazilian-led United Nations Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Even according to official figures, the vast majority of Haitians reject
the coming elections. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), whose
figures many suspect are inflated, claim that, in the past three months,
1.5 million, scarcely 33%, of Haiti's 4.5 million eligible voters have
registered to vote, despite a vigorous propaganda campaign to convince
them. The population has instead heeded the rejectionist call of the PPN
and Lavalas base.
"We will not fall into the trap of getting electoral cards, and we will
not participate in the election/selections which the occupation forces
and the de facto government of [President Boniface] Alexandre and [Prime
Ministers Gérard] Latortue want to shove down the people's throat,"
declared the PPN's Georges Honorat in an Aug. 8 press conference in
Port-au-Prince. He denounced the MINUSTAH's recent distribution of
flyers around Haiti vilifying PPN for its stand against the sham
elections. "The PPN has always clearly said that it will participate in
elections when the conditions are right," Honorat said. "But today, we
will not go to elections under an occupation." He called the upcoming
polling a "mascarade" to put in place a "puppet president and
Meanwhile, the CEP said nationwide municipal elections scheduled for
Oct. 9 would be postponed until late December. It also moved legislative
and presidential elections forward from Nov. 13 to Nov. 6, and run-offs
from Dec. 18 to Dec. 11. Most election observers, and even CEP
officials, doubt that this timetable can be kept. Voter registration was
also extended one month until September 15.
The U.S. and European establishment's International Crisis Group (ICG)
issued an Aug. 3 report which sounded an alarm that the planned
elections were in deep trouble. "Massive technical, political and
security obstacles must be overcome very quickly or Haiti's elections --
municipal and local in October, parliamentary and presidential in
November -- will have to be postponed," the report opens. Calling Haiti
a "failed state," the ICG acknowledged that occupation authorities might
not be able to overcome the obstacles, in which case, "turnout is likely
to be unsatisfactory, credibility of the outcome will suffer, and the
government's legitimacy will be in question." The ICG even questioned
whether the date targeted by the Bush administration for the new
government's inauguration might not have to be pushed back.
"The constitutionally designated date of 7 February 2006, when the new
president and parliament are to be sworn-in, could also be postponed if
necessary," the ICG concluded. "In a country that is slipping every day
towards permanent failed state status and whose constitution has been
largely ignored for years, keeping a symbolic date must not be the first
Among the other political parties which have registered for the
elections are the National Reconstruction Front (FRN) of former "rebel"
leader Guy Philippe, the ADEBAH of former justice minister Camille
Leblanc, the MOCHRENA of right-wing Pastor Luc Mésadieu, the Haitian
Christian Democratic Party (PDCH) de Marie Denise Claude, the MNP28 of
Dejean Bélizaire, the social-democratic Fusion of Serge Gilles, the
Great Center Right Front of former Duvalierist minister Hubert
Deronceray, the Movement for National Reconstruction (MRN) of Dr. Jean
Henold Buteau, the OLAH of former Duvalierist strongman Franck Romain.
Even the de facto Prime Minister's nephew and security chief, Youri
Latortue, has registered a contender: the Artibonite in Action party
Assembly industry capitalist Charles Henri Baker, the number two of the
former Washington-concocted "civil" opposition front "Group of 184,"
also announced he will run for president as an independent. He has
placed ads on several of the capital's bourgeois stations soliciting the
signatures of 100,000 supporters, which he must present to the CEP by
Sep. 10. One wonders why, as the leader of "184 organizations," he has
to resort to radio advertizing to collect the signatures.
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