After a concerted effort and many setbacks, Haiti was finally able to host elections on Sunday, November 20. In recent months, Haiti has suffered through the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, and the subsequent flooding and mudslides; fraudulent elections; and a cholera epidemic. These elections are a step in the right direction.
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A Very Good Day for Haiti
Robert Maguire, Focus On Haiti Initiative
November 21, 2016
If ever a country and its people needed a good day, it was Haiti and the Haitian people. Over the past two months, they have been battered by a monstrous hurricane and, more recently, by widespread flooding and mudslides. Over the past year, they have been subject to fraudulent elections and, when the country’s political, social, civic and economic leaders sought to rectify them, resistance and pressure to accept the election results status quo from external forces who ironically often present themselves as Haiti’s ‘friends.’ And, in the five years prior to those denigrating elections, the country and its people were subject to a government more known for organizing carnivals, engaging enthusiastically in debt-inducing political patronage and shady dealings, and disrespecting democratic process and practice than for leading the country to a stronger, more prosperous future.
It is through this lens that Sunday, November 20, 2016 was a very good day for Haiti. On that day, the bruised country held an election and determined citizens went to polling places around the country in what has been described by the head of the elections council as “a successful day… that unfolded in calm, serenity… and, in general… without violence.” Voters went to cast ballots for president, and in certain constituencies, for senators and lower chamber deputies engaged in a run-off election. Should no single candidate for the presidency receive more than 50% of Sunday’s votes, a presidential run-off between the two top vote getters is scheduled for January 29, 2017.
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