Though Haiti is no longer without a Parliament, the country still faces a political crisis as the final round of elections (currently scheduled for January 24) approaches. Despite rampant fraud, violence, and other problems in the first two rounds of elections, the international community has pushed Haiti to continue forward with the electoral process. Now, one of the top two presidential candidates has refused to participate in the final round, making this a one-man “election.” Though many have warned of the problems that will come from an illegitimate government, the international community is still urging Haiti to push forward with just one candidate in the race.
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Hands Off Haiti
Why International Interference Is Hampering Recovery
Lauren Carasik, Foreign Affairs
January 18, 2016
Haiti has even been under intense international pressure to push the election forward. The United States and the Core Group (composed of ambassadors from Brazil, Canada, the EU, France, Spain, the United States, and the special representative of the Organization of American States) pressured the country to seat its parliament and ensure that Martelly, who is constitutionally prohibited from running for reelection, is replaced when his term expires on February 7. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement on January 6 stressing “the importance of inaugurating the new legislature within the constitutional time frame to ensure the renewal of democratic institutions and consolidate political stability in Haiti.” And yet it is the international community and its foreign-imposed solutions that will foster political instability by undermining Haiti’s fragile democracy.
Washington, which has a long history of meddling in Haiti, has invested in the electoral process by providing $30 million in assistance for the elections, making it the largest donor, so it has a clear stake in claiming that the vote is free and fair. Yet the election has been anything but clean.
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