Tout Haiti

Le Trait d'Union Entre Les Haitiens

Analyses & Opinions

Haiti: Towards Fraudulent Elections or an Early Exit for Martelly?

kplim duvalier prosper avril martellyBy: Castro Desroches  --- "The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting." Charles Bukowski.

In the wee hours of a new political crisis, former Mayor and perennial contender Evans Paul was handpicked at the end of last year as a puppet Prime Minister by neo-duvalierist President Michel Joseph Martelly. As anticipated, after a month in office, he hasn't been able to establish himself as an independent thinker or a game changer. Aside from the grandiose declarations of good faith, it is the same carnivalesque politics propped by a plethoric government of mignons that is being conducted. The tragedy that took place the morning of Mardi Gras (the greatest since the earthquake of 2010) is a sad reminder of the incompetence of the clowns that are parading in the so-called Ministry of Culture. Mr. Paul, who has no known profession except for a brief stunt as a comedian in the late 70's, is more than happy to play the role of Martelly's yes man in the no man's land that Haiti has become. It did not take him too long to live up to his reputation as a chameleon by turning pink (the official color of the regime). In this troubled political scenery, it remains to be seen if he can metamorphose himself into a respected Prime Minister by creating, in the coming months, a climate of confidence conducive to free and fair elections under the tenure of a President with impeccable credentials as a corrupt despot and a drug addict.

Whether we like it or not, the safest path towards these elusive elections remains the departure of Michel Martelly. Why?

The February 2015 carnival that just ended prematurely with a tragic accident (18 dead, 87 wounded) was the 7th organized by the musician/president. At the same time, the number of elections held under his tenure is a fat ZERO. Instead of having elections, Martelly was more than happy to replace the outgoing mayors and local officials with his cronies. At this time, the Haitian Parliament is completely dysfunctional with the remaining 10 officials out 129.

When Martelly was selected by our "supreme foreign benefactors", Haiti had about 5,000 elected officials. Since the fateful day of January 12 (5th anniversary of the earthquake), only 11 have remained. The number goes to 12 if one chooses to count the former President of the Assembly, Dieuseul Simon Desras, who could not bear the thought of not being Senator anymore and decided, in a comical move, to return "home" to the Parliament. It is not by accident that Graham Greene titled his novel published in 1966 about Haitian politics: The Comedians. Out of kindness, the author stated later in an interview that he was not referring to the local politicians. However, the genie was already out of the bottle. The "damage" had been done and to this day the comedians continue to thrive in a political arena that hasn't changed much.

In all fairness, one cannot criticize Martelly too much. He did, or attempted to do exactly what he said he wanted to do. The warnings were on the walls in bright pink colors. Without the frequent protests in the streets, and the vigilance of the democratic sector, Martelly would not be masquerading as a democrat. He would have already imposed a full-fledge dictatorship à la Baby Doc. In fact even the carnival is not free and inclusive in Haiti. Musical groups that dare to challenge the corrupt regime with their songs, are completely excluded from participating in the events.

The fact that Martelly refused to hold elections was not accidental. It was a carefully crafted political decision on his quest to becoming what independent researcher Neil Burron calls "Haiti's new Caesar". In an interview given in 1997 to Miami NewTimes (His music rules in Haiti) Michel Martelly had already stated that he would want the Parliament "out of his way" if he were to become President.

In another TV interview given to Carl Fombrun on December 27, 2005, Michel Martelly indicated: "The goal of my life: to become filthy rich." In the past three and a half years he was able to quickly exceed his "goal" in Haiti, the land of opportunity par excellence. After 3 foreclosures in Florida in 2010, this is quite an "accomplishment". Compliment, Mr. President! A thorough audit and investigation will be soon necessary to evaluate the extent of the damages to the national coffer. The future of Michel Martelly as a free man will depend on his ability to derail and sabotage the electoral process or to install a puppet successor (through fraudulent elections) in order to avoid prosecutions. Free and fair elections in Haiti in 2015 would be a nightmare for the authoritarian kleptomaniac. In the past few years a dynamic duo of young and strong lawyers (André Michel, and Newton St Juste) have been working diligently to secure a room for Martelly, his wife Sophia, and their eldest son Olivier in the National Penitentiary. The family that "preys" together, stays together...

Contrary to popular beliefs, the emergence of Martelly as a presidential candidate in 2010 was not a last minute decision. In his autobiography (à la Sarah Palin), he "wrote" that he was contemplating his candidacy since the presidential elections of 2000. At the time he was advised not to. In 2010, when he collapsed financially in Florida, he had to find a way to get out of the hole. According to Dominican journalist Nuria Piera, he received millions in kickbacks from Senator Felix Bautista right before and after the elections. For Martelly winning the presidency in Haiti was like hitting the Mega Millions. It was the best investment ever done by his business ally, partner in crime, and future Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.

At the dawn of this New Year that marks the centennial of the 1st American occupation, the crisis in Haiti is reaching high gear on the path of a political collision. More than ever, elections in the Caribbean island have become an international competition where foreign powerbrokers are allowed to wager on the presidential candidates that can deliver their goods and allow them to satisfy their nefarious and greedy agenda. Through a series of street protests, the "radical" sector of the opposition was able to obtain the departure of Laurent Lamothe and the liberation of the political prisoners. Very strangely, those who opposed the streets protests are the one who lined up to rip the rewards of political posts in the "Evans Paul government". The true opposition is determined to continue with the street protests to put an end to the corrupt and reactionary regime of Michel Martelly. However, on the ground, too many candidates are hurting the national struggle for democracy and freedom by their hysterical individual ambition, and the urgency to become the One, the new "Savior" of this beautiful but unfortunate country that has been used and abused for too long.

 Source: HaitiAlternative
Castro Desroches