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President Martelly is failing because of mediocre political advisors

emmanuel-royEJR (Manny)By Emmanuel Roy --- An old Greek saying goes like this: "Aux pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois." This could not be more appropriate to describe the Martelly/Lamothe administration.

In the last presidential election, less than 15% of the Haitian population voted. President Martelly was elected with less than a million votes in a country of twelve million people. Eighty-Five percent of the population did not vote. The reason was simple, the Lavalas Party was forbidden from participating in the elections for reasons that are unimportant here. However, those who have a pedestrian understanding of politics actually believed that President Martelly had a mandate from the

Haitian people. After two years of unbelievable political mistakes, Martelly is at a crossroads where he needs to choose whether he wants his legacy to be one of corruption and ineptitude or of leadership and statesmanship.

Subsequent to Martelly's election as chief executive, he was advised that being president doesn't mean much if he can't govern; and because he had no allies in parliament, he needed to do two things immediately. First, was to include members of the opposition in his government; second to build a serious political movement comparable to or better than the Lavalas movement. Martelly did meet with ex presidents, but that didn't go far enough.

Martelly should have held a national summit where all former presidents and heads of political parties would have been invited. The purpose of such summit would have been to come up with a fifty-year development plan for Haiti that subsequent governments could follow, similar to what Singapore did in the 1970's.

Had he done that, he would have lived as the best president Haiti has ever known. The positive aspect of this national summit would have quieted his detractors and would have allowed those in the opposition to be part of the discussions. The resulting report would have serv ed as a national blue print that every political party could support as the Martelly vision for a better Haiti. The second step should have been the building of a political party, which would have provided Martelly with the mandate and legitimacy he needed to carry out huge changes. He should have mobilized the country and built his party with a vision of one Haiti. This would have allowed Martelly to open political offices all over the country, conducting town hall meetings in all ten departments and invited senators and deputies from said departments to participate and discuss moving the country forward. The movement would have silenced many of his critics, making ineffective the argument according to which the president refused to work with them.

Instead, Martelly made the worst political decision. He nominated Laurent Lamothe for Prime Minister, and on the advice of many, refuses to cooperate with parliament.

Every political move Martelly made, has been the results of recommendation made by people like Yuri Latortue, Joseph Lambert, Laurent Lamothe, Sophia Martelly, Thierry Mayard-Paul, Gregory Mayard-Paul, Damien Melot, Ralph Théa no, Georges Racine, Rick Bayan bas and other political amateurs who see the government as their own private
business. Most of these advisors have never held political office or advised any president before Martelly. No wonder the Haitian people are now asking for Martelly to resign.

Many people say that the Haitian parliament is a nuisance. It is a nuisance indeed, but a necessary one. Though ineffective, it's a vital component to the government's check and balance system, which is an essential part of a democracy. One that requires all branches of the government to work together with transparency, honesty, accountability and a vision to benefit the greatest number of their constituents. The president has a constitutional duty to ensure that parliament is able to fulfill its own constitutional obligation.

Failing to hold timely election, Martelly disregarded his presidential duty.

Why haven't the legislative elections been scheduled? Political ly, it's not in Martelly's advantage to hold parliamentary elections right now. First, Martelly doesn't have a structured political party with candidates to run for offices; second, if elections were held, the Lavalas party would grab a large number of the seats, creating more political problems for Martelly. Why give your enemies more weapons to destroy you? The way to have prevented this problem was to do exactly what I advised in 2011 as discussed above.

There are several issues that could make Martelly just an accidental president. First, the electoral laws must be passed and published; second, the names of the members of "La Cour Supérieure Des Comptes" must also be published; third, a firm date must be picked to hold elections. None of these three issues would help Martelly politically; in fact it's quite the opposite. If he publishes the names of the nominated members of "La Cour Supérieure des Comptes" these people would undoubtedly open investigations on government spend ing, bogus and no bid contracts that could prove very em barrassing to the president. If he holds election, he would give the Senate the occasion to garner the number of senators they need to get rid of Lamothe and put him on trial for apparently causing the death of a Judge who was investigating a case of corruption against his wife Sophia and his son Olivier.

Martelly is in a very precarious political situation. In order for him to survive — and by survive, I mean completing the remainder of his term —, he needs to meet with the two presidents of parliament, Jean Tolbert Alexis and Dieuseul Simon Desras to come up with a consensus that includes the resignation of Laurent Lamothe, and the formation of a new coalition government. In that specific scenario, Martelly would not have the political latitude needed to push through any item on his agenda, but he has no other choices.

If Martelly wants to support a successor, he might as well forget about it also. He doesn't have the political capital "à La Aristide" to do so. With two and half years left, there isn't much he can accomplish. Lamothe has already pillaged the country with the consent of many; and the Martelly/Lamothe administration will go down in history as the "darkest moment" of Haiti's political history.

In an Article written by an Aljazeera columnist in 2011, he called the election of Michel J. Martelly the "Second Haitian disaster." The more one analyzes Martelly's political decisions, the more one realizes that the Aljazeera writer was right; and then I thought about the Greek philosopher Plato who said: "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." Translation: "Ceux qui sont trop intelligents pour s'engager en politique sont punis en étant gouvernés par ceux qui sont muets."

EJR (Manny)
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