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Commentary: The OAS and its report on the botched Haitian election
Published on August 13, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Jean H Charles

The Organisation of American States (OAS) has just published its result of the botched election of October 24, 2015, in Haiti. It would have been better that it held such result in its vault, letting time vet the true story because it expresses a lack of understanding of the Haitian ethos that gets the results it wants by substituting rationality and evidence to fiction. George Bush and Ronald Reagan called it voodoo politics. We shall call it voodoo result.

Jean H Charles LLB, MSW, JD is a candidate for President of Haiti in the forthcoming election scheduled for October 2016.  He can be reached at and followed at Caribbean News Now/Haiti
The OAS result reports the same number of voters as the Haitian CEP for the first four candidates: Jovenel Moise 32.91%; Jude Celestin 25.21%; Moise Jean Charles 14.27%; Maryse Narcisse 7%. However, the OAS fails to take into consideration the fact that, from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm on Sunday October 24, a combined operation by PHTK and Bouclier under the command of the Bouclier coordinator occupied all the polling booths of the nation, demanding that all the other observatory and mandate holders quit the voting space so they could conduct their own process of verifying the voting process.

In addition, well before the election, as a presidential candidate I alerted the national and international press that a vast operation of vote buying and selling was taking place to the benefit of PHTK. The very party under which I was registered as a candidate, PENH, was muted into a satellite PHTK, holding most of my votes and being one of the coordinating entities with the PHTK operatives for the vast campaign of compromising the voting process.

Those operatives used all the techniques and tricks; one of the operatives masqueraded himself as a facilitator of a non-profit election observer agency that would pay my campaign workers. If I would turn over to him all my votes; he would ensure that the workers would be paid on time. As a test to prove my suspicion, I did turn over some votes to him. He took the bait and I have proof of whose candidate benefited from my votes.

On the day of election, some PHTK operatives have used plain violence, as in the case of the rural county of Cass in the town of Lascahobas, where the polling booth was burned openly in the view of those who could identify the perpetrator.

As a consequence, a large majority of legislators elected at this election have been elected on the backdrop of fraud and violence; they are there for themselves not for the nation. They either do not show up for duty or insist in negotiating a personal benefit from the executive for any legislation that needs their stamp of approval. Yet they have been able to broker from the state a combined salary and emoluments in the range of $200,000 per year.

According to RNDDH (The National Human Rights Defense Network), “The Parliament has become a space of bargaining and marketing decisions. Votes are usually cashed out and motivated by petty interests of Parliamentarians many of whom are involved in drug scandals, money laundering, selling visas, corruption...” 

I must admit elections in Haiti are a vast fraudulent operation where most of the parties are guilty of orchestrating a game of who can trick the others the most. I have engaged before the election date in continuous discussion with the candidates and the voters, particularly those in the ghetto areas, telling them it is not worth to participate in fraudulent election practices because not only your vote will not count but you are perpetuating your miserable life by selling yourself so short.

I was painted as a naïve politician who lived for too long in the United States, as such I could not understand the ways and means of Haitian politics. Haiti has just been declared the poorest nation, not just in the Western Hemisphere but in the world, according to a recent study by the Wall Street Journal. It has held that infamous distinction for a while for the Western Hemisphere but in the last 60 years, with no improvement being made by successive Haitian governments whether from the right, the military or from the left, it is has sunk into the last place in the ranking of the categories of welfare that a nation owes its citizens.

The year 2016 represents a watershed and a seminal time for Haiti to take a new turn in its governance practice. It has been exactly 60 years since it started its descent into hell. It began with the departure from power of Paul E Magloire on December 6, 1956. The years of dictatorship lasted 30 years until February 7, 1986. From then on the descent continued unabated for another full 30 years under the regimes of faux democracy up to February 7, 2016.

The OAS was there to facilitate this transition. Under the leadership of Sir Ronald Sanders, it helped Michel Martelly to quit power without bloodshed on February 7, as per the Haitian constitution. I did all in my power to usher in the negotiator into segments of the society that rarely sit on the table. This was done not only because Sir Ronald is an esteemed colleague with whom I share the same medium. He files his articles in Caribbean News Now on Fridays while I file mine on Saturdays. Sir Ronald Sanders, under whom the leadership of the OAS was under at that time, carried the aura of understanding, benevolence and caring.

The OAS is in the dilemma of reverting back to its old ways of reinforcing the old guard of leaders who are there for themselves not for their citizens. To its credit, it has been the only international institution maintaining the rationale that the Haitian election should be remanded. Presenting its results as a fait accompli goes against the grain of that rationale.

The case of Haiti requires particular international attention. It cannot condone its political canvas as it is; it must spur a quiet revolution that would reverse the de facto apartheid vista en rigueur in Haiti. The entire world was outraged at the de jure apartheid nation in South Africa before the Mandela revolution. The de facto apartheid virus circulating in all aspects of Haitian social and economic strata is more suffocating since it is exotic and accommodating.

The bandage policy made of the color painting of the slums of Jalousie on the hills of Petionville is just postponing an explosive situation that nature itself will facilitate to happen. Some nine years ago, I put forth a road map for the OAS and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to follow in integrating the region for real development;

it is as though I was preaching in a desert. The Caribbean and Latin American are accusing the least growth and development in the world.

These international institutions are there for their own benefit and, even then, they are failing because they are practically bankrupt institutions -- their members refuse to pay their dues on time. While CARICOM is waiting on EU, OAS is waiting on USAID to conduct any meaningful operation of their budgeted program.

We are living a time when the world needs forceful leaders and energetic international organizations to combat pandemic diseases, such as zika and AIDS, the consequences of global warming on weather and lack of rain for food production, terrorism from ISIS and job creation in each nation in the midst of globalization.

This is a beautiful world! God is waiting on each one of us, particularly on the leaders and on the educated citizens, to lead it into perfection for the benefit of humankind, as observed in South Asia. It will be our own fault, if it does not happen in our part of the universe.
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