Election Fever

 

haiti elections(The following is written by James Blanc, a 2010 graduate of Institution Univers)

Haitians Elect a New President

Election is a formal decision-making process by which individuals choose someone to hold a position. Elections are held in every democratic country. As soon as somebody mentions democracy, he indirectly talks about elections, because that’s how people exercise power by freely electing representatives among themselves.

haitian electionsThree weeks ago, Americans were called to freely elect people they want to govern their country and move forward. On Sunday, November 20, it was Haiti’s turn. Haitians were called to vote for their 55th president and 16 senators. The election to elect a president in the country was supposed to be held more than a year ago, and the first round of elections did happen on October 25, 2015, with 54 candidates on the ballot. Unfortunately, after the result was announced by the electoral college, which placed Jovenel Moise, a native of our region and entrepreneur, in first position, and Jude Celestin, an engineer, in second position, the opposing parties claimed the elections were full of fraud and irregularities in several voting center. They rallied to ask to cancel the elections and they wanted the election to be rerun with a new government, as they think the government at the time was favoring one candidate Jovenel Moise.

The second round was supposed to be between Jude Celestin and Jovenel Moise before February 7th 2016 to replace President Martelly who was ending his term. It never happened as Jude Celestine and the opposing parties refused to participate. President Martelly left power by completing his term in February 2016, and a new transitional government took power with former senator Jocelerme Privert as president.

The new government created a special commission to investigate the frauds claimed by the opposing parties in the previous election. Although, after two weeks, the commission shared their report and asked to cancel the whole thing and rerun the presidential election. However, they recommended to keep the senators and house representatives who were elected in the same election they claimed was full of fraud. Anyway, the country lost $100 millions.

The election was set to be rerun in October, but due to the recent problems related to Hurricane Matthew, the government finally held the election on November 20, 2016. People went to vote peacefully for a president and a senator in each region. Everything went well overall. International and national media reported it could be the best election to ever organize in Haiti. They complimented the national police officers for their hard work, the government and the electoral college board. Several reports are saying only 30% of the people went to vote.

After the election, the suspense is on.

Political parties and supporters soon claimed victory, but only the electoral college is allowed to give the final result. The results were expected to be released after eight days, according to the electoral college; but the Haitian press has been reporting that nothing would be changed from the last election, and that Jovenel Moise would keep his first place and Jude Celestin would be second.

As of yesterday, November 28, the Miami Herald announced preliminary results showing that Jovenel Moise did, in fact, win again.

In my opinion, the president-elect has to realize the job will not be easy. He will not be able to govern alone and face the problems alone. We will need everybody: Haitians, the politicians, and the NGOs need to work together to improve the lives of our people.

A renewed faith in our leadership is hopefully something good that can come out of this election.

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