After weeks of the international community and Haiti’s current president pushing an illegitimate electoral process forward, Haiti’s Electoral Council finally cancelled the elections to prevent worsening of the political crisis. So far, CARICOM has only had a “mildly worded press release” on the issue but it has taken strong stances on Haiti in the past. Now, CARICOM has an opportunity to help Haitians keep fighting for the fair elections that the postponement can allow.
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CARICOM must demonstrate leadership in Haiti’s electoral process this time around
Kevin Edmonds, Stabroek News
January 25, 2016
Haiti’s most recent cycle of presidential elections has been marred by irregularities and significant allegations of corruption to the point that a group of eight leading opposition candidates, the Haitian Senate and leading figures in civil society had been calling for a postponement of the elections. On Friday afternoon, Haiti’s electoral council wisely gave in to the opposition in an effort to limit the deepening of the nation’s political crisis.
While the holding of regularly scheduled elections is often pointed to as a sign of a healthy and vibrant democracy, holding elections at any cost and ignoring the repeated warnings of the electorate, civil society and opposition candidates would only serve to weaken Haiti’s fragile democracy. If the elections had gone forward as planned, it would have happened with only one candidate’s participation – that of current president Michel Martelly’s handpicked successor, Jovenel Moise.
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