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26336: Allen: RE: The Simeus candidacy (opinion) (fwd)
From: Joseph A. Allen DDS <email@example.com>
Chronicle of a Rejection Foretold
Last Friday, to no one?s surprise, Mr. Dumarsais Simeus? candidacy was
rejected by the CEP. He is therefore not eligible to participate in the
upcoming presidential elections. In a way the title of this story should
be ?Chronicle of a Rejection Foretold?. From the start even Simeus?
supporters, conscious of his ?handicap?, after telling that he was running
invariably added that he was ready to challenge the CEP if rejected because
of his ?dual citizenship?.
To his credit, Simeus was disqualified because he did not play the ?maroon?
game. He honestly said at the beginning that he was also an American
citizen; although it has been harder to pin him down on the subject lately.
Another accepted candidate, Samir Mourra, is rumored to be in the same
situation and he may have managed to go under the radar by keeping a low
Now we learn that Simeus is appealing the ruling and is putting to good use
the lawyers that were on stand-by from the start; and we are now bombarded
with press releases from different quarters making the case for Simeus?
reinsertion. Some of them are full of inaccuracies and hurt rather than help
the former candidate. They all make it appear that Simeus would have
handsomely won if allowed to participate. This next quote from Associated
Press attributed to Simeus himself illustrates the point: "This election,
without us being allowed to participate as a presidential candidate, will
have no legitimacy whatsoever." Here we go again: ?après moi le néant.? This
is a surprising statement, coming from a candidate who could not even get
the support of 2% of the electorate.
Since the rejection, Simeus went from being a successful Haitian-American
to, according to a press release from Simeus Foods, a ?Haitian-Born
Reformer Nominated By Broad Coalition Of Political Parties?. The last part
is of course an exaggeration.
If you listen long enough without thinking, you will have the impression
that the CEP is the only thing stopping Simeus from winning this election.
I am not suggesting that Simeus could not win an election in Haiti, but this
one, in 2005, did not look good for him from the beginning. He started too
late and had no national organization on the ground, and he is not well
known in Haiti. Simeus had to abandon his independent status because he
could not garner enough support to collect the 70,00 signatures needed to
qualify as an independent candidate. In the end, he had to run as the
selected candidate of a small fringe party led by Dr Blot, TET ANSAM; all
the major parties were already committed by the time he had entered the
race. Ironically, the rejection gave Simeus more press coverage in Haiti,
which he did not have and may even have saved him from the embarrassment of
being a weak candidate. If Simeus had enough signatures to run as an
independent, it would have been an excellent opportunity to showcase his
strength. Instead he elected to join TET ANSAM (avec très peu de têtes).
Dumarsais Simeus is an important man, and he may have relied on the
erroneous perception of others who could not deliver and on the premise that
the Constitution could be successfully and openly circumvented. I hope he
now puts his talent and organizational skills behind a movement to help
revamp the current Constitution and help end the occupation the right way.
In doing so, he will make it possible for him or others to run in the
future, in a much better environment. If that were his legacy, it would make
for a greater contribution than being a weak president in a country occupied
by people who do not really care about Haiti.
Joseph A. Allen DDS