It’s one thing to claim to be a nationalist, it is quite another to advance a nationalist cause in a political terrain as foggy as that of Haiti’s. He has been telling the masses of Haiti that he holds the initiative and his position—diametrically opposed to that of the rest of the pack—has the magic solution. For weeks, Moise Jean-Charles has been on the stump, blazing the trail. He has the silver bullet, he says, that has the might to lift his fellow countrymen—with one stroke—from “misery to poverty with dignity.”
Thousands follow him wherever he goes, and he senses victory is within sight. The populist message that he carries seems to have swayed his followers, although it is the same message Jean-Charles’s estranged friend, Jean Bertrand Aristide, was known to be famous for. To solidify his position as a nationalist bon teint, he calls his political party “Pitit Dessalin” or the “Sons of Jean-Jacques Dessalines,” the father of the Haitian nation.
His rhetoric sounds, no doubt. He speaks about inequality, abject poverty, political independence and foreign interference. Though he lacks the political craftsmanship that many leftist politicians usually master and far from applying the Dessalines doctrine, many agree he could pull the vote required to win in a fair election.
Jean-Charles is a popular individual with a populist message, but he is not a consensus figure. His rigidity is totally at odds with the intellectual pragmatism and the marvelous realism that one would need to win in a national election in Haiti. There are two ways to be victorious in a contest like this: Winning convincingly or morphing into a subservient conformist and play by the rules set forth by the enemies of Haiti.
Sweet Micky knows it, and he has laid his trap like a foxy wiz, confidently knowing Jean-Charles will eventually fall into it. To strengthen his political booby-trap, he has hired a dude who bears the same name as Moise, Jovenel Moise, betting on voters’ ignorance, to win in political bewilderment.
That’s not all! Sweet Micky is spearheading, in a public relation scheme, some fuzzy pollsters to show transparency in the “modern era” of Haitian politics. The latest magouy (political ploy) came from some poll numbers released this week by ICR (Integrated Communications and Research), an obscure research center headed by an FIU professor named Eduardo Gamarra. CSMS Magazine called Florida International University (FIU) to inquire about the center’s release but was told that we ought to reach the professor himself.
The ICR polls show Sweet Micky’s dude with a commanding lead 20.5 % over his closest rival Jude Célestin at 12 %. Moise Jean-Charles stands in the single digits at 8.7 %. According to the Miami Herald, BRIDES, a Port-au-Prince-based research center of which its survey is a complete reversal of ICR numbers. BRIDES numbers put Célestin ahead at 31.3 % to Jovenel Moise at 12.9 %. Moise jean-Charles, however, stands at 10.7 %.
In both polls, Jean-Charles fairs poorly among eligible voters—a clear indication that Moise Jean-Charles has been overtly outmaneuvered. It is highly likely that the fight will come down between Jovenel Moise and Jude Célestin. Then the diplomatic core and MINUSTA will converge to make the final draw. Ti Bill, who loves to rule from behind, will be nowhere in sight. Although he has an eye on Haiti, he is too busy right now that Madame Secretary has been pinned down by her Republican rivals in Washington. Anyway, he ultimately decides—between Martelly’s dude of whom they say he is not in favor and Célestin, a protégé of former president René Preval.
Sweet Micky now sits pretty. “All of Me” by John Legend is now his favorite song. “I’ll give my all to you. You’re my end and my beginning. Even when I lose I’m winning.”
Can Jean-Charles reclaim the initiative in just 2 days before the election? It is fair to say he is Mr. Too-Late-Now, lost in a fog of political labyrinth. He never had the distilled remedy necessary to assuage the many doubts still plaguing millions he would need to win convincingly. The crazies seem to have won this latest round of this endless political saga. O Bondye, a la mizè pou Ayiti! Oh God, what a calamity for Haiti!
Note: Dr. Ardain Isma is a novelist and the author of several documents on Haiti. His latest book Midnight at Noon was critically acclaimed.
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