By Marcel Duret
Former Ambassador of Haiti in Tokyo
I had decided no longer to write about the political situation in Haiti, until I read the press release issued on January 12, 2016 by the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Haiti:
"The EOM welcomes the steps taken by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to adopt most of the recommendations produced by the Independent Electoral Commission assessment, as well as national and international electoral observation missions, all in order to provide all the players better guarantees in anticipation of the second round of presidential elections announced for January 24."
While one member of the audit committee, Mr Rony Desroches, complains of the non-compliance with the recommendations, the observation mission of the Organization of American States, an influential entity, proclaims that CEP -- which CEP? -- adopted them all. Who asked their opinion? What right does this mission have to interfere in the internal affairs of the country? Do the terms of reference of the mission of the EOM / OAS include that it can pass judgement on the electoral process one way or another?
"The Mission notes that, among others measures, the number of accreditations granted to directors will be reduced from 900,000 October 25 to 38,000, and that the proxies will only be entitled to vote where they are registered as a voter. In addition, members of the polling stations will be replaced and the presidential candidates will be offered the opportunity to appoint two representatives to oversee the work at the tabulation center. Training of electoral staff will be improved and the list of observer organizations and the criteria for accreditation will be published before Election Day."
How is the OAS mission aware of the CEP’s actions? Who allowed them to publish this information until now unknown to the public? Is the Mission a spokesperson of the CEP?
"In light of these efforts, the OAS-EOM urges both finalists to participate actively in the election. To that end, they will respect the will of the Haitian electorate who voted for them on October 25. The Mission notes that 92 newly elected to the Lower House from the opposition and the ruling party were sworn in Sunday”
What nerve! What blatant interference in the internal affairs of the country? What arrogance? As a master orders his servants, notes are communicated to the Haitian intelligentsia and to the population, who suspect an electoral coup.
Mr Jude Celestin and his team deserve the gratitude and recognition of the Haitian people for having the courage and determination to refuse to compromise in an election that destroys the symbol of the freedom vigorously fought by our ancestors. On behalf of the Haitian people, I thank you, history will reward you.
One of the members of the CEP, Paul Marie-Carmelle Austin, commented on January 14th:
"It does not matter, the CEP can not back down or defer this work because the Head of State has already convened the people for the elections. And we as electoral advisers have nothing else to do than to make every effort possible to make these elections possible.”
So my body and my heart bleed profusely. This atrocious suffering permeates my soul, my whole being. I can’t breathe. I could have and maybe I should have gone abroad to live a quiet life, even if I wouldn’t be able to look in the mirror in the morning and recognize myself.
Why did we get here? I wanted to say to those who want to keep the power to avoid the consequences of their inconsistencies that they have nothing to fear, but please leave the country in peace! To these settlers, who are ignoring their colonist status, I would say that it has been a very long time since the colonists were driven from this land of Toussaint and Dessalines. I would tell them that a second revolution is in the making and there is still time for them to leave!
A friend told me that "these petitions from the right to the left are finally without effect?" And it hurts me. She has only exacerbated an already unbearable suffering. Another who thought I was trying to make suggestions to the existing government said: 'Why persist in wanting to correct the incorrigible? The fundamental lie? The multicoloured illusion?
Do we have the right or even the choice to resign ourselves to the current reality and give up?
Recently I've realized that I cannot survive if I do not shout, if I do not scream, if I do not write my suffering.
"The only good thing that I have left in the world is that I have sometimes cried "; not out of cowardice but out of loyalty to my freedom to say or even dare to say what I feel.
Under pressure of the people who took to the streets of Port-au-Prince, fortunately the scheduled January 24th second round election was cancelled.