LAW AND ORDER ARE PRE-CONDITIONS TO PEACEFUL AND MEANINGFUL ELECTIONS IN HAITI

elections in haiti

 

 

 

 

LAW AND ORDER ARE PRE-CONDITIONS TO PEACEFUL AND MEANINGFUL ELECTIONS IN HAITI

BY

Omega Staff Writers

June 01, 2015, 17:00 PM – (ΩWN)

With Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Commission’s releasing the names of a long list of presidential candidates found ineligible to participate in this year’s presidential electoral contest, because of stated violations of constitutional and other legal rules, tensions are high in a nation that is known to experience shocking and traumatizing violence, when political and economic sectors fight for control of elections results.

In a country with high unemployment, few economic opportunities, a long tradition of autocratic and often brutal government, and ruined by corruption, lawlessness, as well as an overwhelming level of criminality and impunity, the nearly 30-year old democratic process has long succumbed to the demagoguery and violence of a class of “professional politicians” who remain determined to preserve their access to illegal economic gains deriving from an equally illegal access to positions of command through fraudulent elections.  In Hait, a troubling paradox is apparent in the fact that, for nearly 30 years now, since February 1986, so-called democratic elections keep turning out elected autocrats, at best.

To turn Haiti around, Haitians must now engage in nation building in a common effort that goes way beyond post-earthquake reconstruction, a misnomer, because, Haiti has never been built as a state nor as a nation.  Such a monumental task cannot even begin, properly, without the rule of law, public order and social peace.  Which brings us to the informed opinion that, even with its own shortcomings, Haiti’s current Provisional Electoral Commission must be respected by all candidates and supported by the general public.

When candidates registered with the Electoral Commission to participate in elections to represent the people at any levels of governance, they also, tacitly at least, did recognize the authority of the Commission to issue binding rules, regulations and decisions, that could adversely affect the standing of any particular candidate.  When a recourse has been made possible by law, candidates should certainly seek appropriate legal redress.  But, when the Electoral Commission’s rulings or decisions are final by law, as advertised and presumed to be known, candidates are expected to submit to any such verdict and, more particularly, to make the choice to support the rule of law, public order and social peace that are necessary although insufficient pre-conditions for peaceful and meaningful elections.

The legal rulings of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Commission must stand when they were well advertised or known by all that they would be final, i.e. without recourse.  It is the civic duty of candidates for any office to comply with the law, and to refrain from any violent challenge to the legal authority of the electoral institution.

Omega Staff Writers

June 01, 2015

 

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