this issue, any vestige of democracy in Haiti is on the verge of being undermined as Haiti prepares to hold presidential and parliamentary elections this fall without allowing the nation's largest and most popular political party, Fanmi Lavalas, to participate. As concerned citizens of the world, we cannot let this happen. -- Paul B]
The International Community Should Pressure the Haitian Government For Prompt and Fair Elections
June 30, 2010
On June 28, 2010, Haitian President Renée Préval announced Parliamentary and Presidential elections for November 28, 2010, and issued a decree mandating that the country’s ninemember Provisional Electoral Council plan for the elections.1 These upcoming elections will provide the political foundation for effective use of earthquake response funds and the development of a stable society that will be less vulnerable to future natural disasters. The Government of Haiti (GOH) must stick to its deadline, but it must also run fair, inclusive and constitutional elections.
These elections are particularly important to:
a) re-establish an effective legislature that can make the vital national policy decisions
entrusted to it by Haiti’s constitution;
b) establish political accountability for the expenditure of large amounts of money that
will have a lasting impact on Haitian society; and
c) resolve Haiti’s current societal disputes in a peaceful and democratic manner.
The failure to hold credible elections will perpetuate the social unrest and political uncertainty that made Haiti vulnerable to the earthquake’s damage, and slow to mount an effective governmental response.2 The international community, in order to protect its investment in Haiti’s reconstruction and facilitate the emergence of a democratic, stable government in Haiti, must use the leverage that its financial contributions to reconstruction provide to ensure the holding of fair, inclusive and constitutional elections.
Haiti currently faces three principal problems relating to elections:
a) the closing of Parliament when members’ terms expired in May 2010;
b) a credibility crisis for the 1/3 of the Senate elected in flawed elections in 2009 and of
the Electoral Council that ran the elections; and
c) the threat that the Executive Branch will have no Constitutional legitimacy after
February 7, 2011.