That’s it. It is official. Préval’s handpicked candidate is out and Michel “Seet Micky” Martelly is in, paving the way for the long anticipated presidential runoff. Préval played hard to keep Micky out of the race. He rejected every suggestion to do what he was ordered to do on Sunday. He did not listen to his people’s demands that he disband the Electoral Council. He rejected OAS General Secretary, José Miguel Insulza, but could do nothing other than bowing to Hillary Clinton’s dictate. “It is important that the election go forward so there can be a new president,” she said (click this link she said to read the interview) in an interview with Gerin Alexandre of Caraibes FM on Sunday. And the iron lady went on to say that there is so much work to be done in Haiti, and the international community stands ready to help.”
According to news reports, Mrs. Clinton met with René Préval and the three leading presidential candidates from an initial round of voting on Nov. 28. It was reported that Celestin clumsily tried and failed to push for a scenario that would allow him in the race—a humiliating scene for patriotic Haitians who could simply stand by and watch as their country becomes a blatant basket case, where Haitian intelligence has been subordinated to the ignorance of people who know very little about Haiti’s history and its culture.
But Préval and his cronies need to cease to display their crocodile cries. Their patriotism has always been skin-deep—an instrument to use ONLY when their selfish interests are at stake. However, when it comes to prolonging their hold on power and luxury, they see the UN and other international institutions as necessary guarantors, but not as instruments of interference in Haitian affairs. Their political demeanor is reminiscent to that of the classic form du type tiermondiste. (Backward-minded elements)
Préval knows he did many wrongs—enough to land him behind bars. His aloof demeanor was just a ploy to camouflage his political wrongs—sneaky and maximalist.
A strategic blunder
Why didn’t they allow Sweet Micky in the first place? One may not agree with Micky on many issues, noticeably his leniency toward the macoutism. That’s another issue. However, he was allowed to run, he should be allow to continue if he gathers enough votes to be in the runoff. Did Préval need a Hillary Clinton to order him to do so?”
According The Christian Science Monitor, Clinton did not mince words about who she prefers to see in the runoff, saying she would push for Mr. Préval to accept the recommendation of the Organization of American States (OAS). “We have made it very clear we support the OAS recommendations, and we would like to see those acted on,” she told reporters, according to a State Department transcript (Click on this link transcript to read the transcript) , adding that “at this time” there was no talk of suspending aid to Haiti.
Yes, the aid. It is the heavenly prize to win, not necessarily the election. The election is nothing but a means to an end. Whoever wins will presumably preside or oversee the millions of dollars set to go down to Haiti for the reconstruction effort. Money will certainly find its way into secret bank accounts across the world, into exclusive villas in Wellington in Palm Beach. And the people? Let them rot in abject poverty, as their outright nonchalance was exposed in their dealings with the dead in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Préval INITE (Unity) party, citing intimidation from the OAS, released a statement last week urging Mr. Célestin to step aside. There may yet be a middle way conducive to all parties. Robert Fatton Jr., a Haiti expert and professor at the University of Virginia, says one option being discussed is that the electoral council will announce a statistical tie between Célestin and Mr. Martelly, meaning three candidates will compete in the final round. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what they did. It’s probably the easiest thing for them. That way, they would not be rejecting the OAS report, just modifying it,” he says. Falton continues to say that “the question would be whether the Americans would [support] that.”
Falton seemed to have been marching behind the curve. This is history. The iron lady has spoken.
Yet the OAS report has been criticized. An independent analysis of first-round ballots by the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research found Célestin in second place. The center recommended elections be held anew.
Former Miami Herald reporter, Yves Colon, who now teaches at the University of Miami, says the US wants to see the election impasse resolved because “everything is hinging on the elections, meaning the reconstruction, the release of aid, everything. Nothing can be done until the election is resolved,” he says.
With the pace of reconstruction expected to pick up this year, Mr. Colon says there is reluctance to partner with a government in which Préval would still be influential. “Préval has not proven to be a very good partner. He’s been maneuvering behind the scenes … it’s Haitian politics as usual,” he says. “And Célestin is widely seen as Préval’s water boy.”
Runoff is set for March 20th. It remains to be seen how this is going to play out. With Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier in the country and Aristide is on his way—according to latest report—bumpy and rocky may be the best adjectives to describe the road ahead.