miércoles, diciembre 13, 2006

Pèp la se sèl mèt beton-an (a snapshop of Haitian "mobcracy")

Timid or prudent, or maybe both, the CEP has announced some preliminary results for the local elections held ten days ago. The news has been received with mixed reactions, ranging from rushed radio press conferences called by heated (loser) candidates, to road blockades, burning tires, physical threats, stone throwing, day and night gunfire and arson in various parts of the country. One of them, again, is Bombardopolis.

Despite its futuristic airplane industry hub-like name, Bombardopolis is a remote and poor village in the north-western tip of Haiti with less than 10,500 registered voters –including the surrounding rural areas. During the presidential and parliamentary elections last February tensions there ran very high… to say the least!

The ruthless struggle among eight political parties running for Deputy and their fanatical distrust of each other, as well as of poll officials, led four of them to gather violent crowds of supporters to enter the polling stations and destroy the ballots. Some sources pointed to the local leaders of LESPWA, MIRN, ALYANS and UNION. These acronyms may not ring any bells to people unfamiliar with Haiti (by the way, there are around 100 registered political parties here and some 30 more non-registered). For the sake of clarity, let me just say that LESPWA, whose presidential candidate is the current President Mr. Rene Preval, got 51.21% of the national votes, MIRN's presidential candidate Mr. Luc Fleurinord received 1.90%, ALYANS' presidential candidate Mr. Evans Paul got 2.49% and UNION's presidential candidate (backed by LAVALAS) Mr. Marc Bazin got 0.68%.

However, the poor results of their corresponding candidates will not deter any Haitian local politician from pursuing his or her quest for power, nor lessen the fervor of their local supporters and allies ... quite the opposite.

Tensions skyrocketed in Bombardopolis after the December 3rd election. Incoming reports indicating a much more serious wave of post electoral-related violence include information about houses looted and set ablaze and people fleeing town. Unfortunately, there is a crude explanation for all of this … for those anti-civic leaders this is the very last chance to get a piece of the pie (of power)!

Se pa cochon moun yo remen, se pito griot. Como decimos en mi país “no es por amor al chancho sino al chicharrón”.

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