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From: Lance Durban <email@example.com>
As someone who started life in a middle-class upstate New York
household, my own road to a University of Chicago MBA was
nothing compared to the one travelled by Mr. Siméus. But hey, I
have a lot of respect for that school, which back in his day
(and mine, some years later) provided an extremely rigorous
academic challenge to those lucky enough to get in.
Furthermore it's hard to deny Siméus' many subsequent
accomplishments in his adopted country. And many of the skills
that got him to the top of the heap are needed in any large
bureaucracy. Furthermore, I like the thought that just maybe
here is a man with the financial wherewithal to avoid being
swayed by the many opportunities to load his pockets and favor
his political friends. That he now wants to return to Haiti to
lend a hand in pulling his native country up by its bootstraps
On the other hand, successful business leaders have rarely made
good presidents. An MBA degree teaches nothing about the
political skills a democratically-elected president needs.
Indeed, Siméus' comments the other day about Prime Minister
Latortue's poor management skills completely overlooked the fact
that Haiti's recent leaders have mostly failed because they were
unable to bring people together, a political task of major
import. Indeed, Harvard MBA, George Bush, is the poster boy of
why you don't want an MBA running your country!
My guess is that the reason there has been little publicly
expressed opposition to the Siméus candidacy is that most people
in Haiti just want someone who can succeed in the job. The
feeling is that here's a guy who just might be big enough to
Unfortunately, the legal issue of his eligibility, risks
creating political ill-will even before the election, and
certainly after. It's not just the nationality question, but
more importantly his country of residence for the last 5 years.
(Reportly, when it was asked for a ruling on a Siméus candidacy
some months ago, the CEP did not respond favorably).
I am also troubled by his professed unwillingness to use his own
wealth to finance his campaign. Maybe that was just public
relations, but somehow I would have felt better had he sworn off
financial support from the big money boys in the Republican
party. This IS supposed to be a Haitian election, after all.
So what would I like to see? How about Siméus teaming up with
one of the other candidates and moving back to Haiti for 5 years
in some influential government role where nationality is not an
issue. If he is unhappy with the current field, how about his
FINDING and FOUNDING another compatible candidate who meets the
eligibility requirements? Haiti would get the talents of a most
successful native son, and in 5 years, at the age 70, Siméus
would have an in-country track record on which to run in the
2010 presidential contest... if he was still interested.