News Feed

December 4, 2016 - Veteran entertainer Clarence Thompson passes away Barbados has lost a veteran enterta ... +++ December 4, 2016 - Gas, diesel and LPG prices rise, kerosene drops Barbadians will be paying more for ... +++ December 4, 2016 - HIV impostors Source: Trinidad Guardian: In order ... +++ December 4, 2016 - Today’s weather The Barbados Meteorological Service ... +++ December 4, 2016 - Castro’s dying wish As thousands joined Cuban President ... +++ December 4, 2016 - World leaders pay tribute to late Fidel Castro World leaders have paid tribute to ... +++

Haitians to vote on Sunday

Haitians vote in a long-delayed presidential election on Sunday that residents hope will stabilize the impoverished nation and help it get back on its feet after a devastating hurricane last month.

The struggling Haitians, despite skepticism, look for the election to bring an end to a year of political uncertainty and deliver a president who can unite a nation already battered by a 2010 earthquake, lift the economy and create jobs.

Up to 1,000 people died in Hurricane Matthew, which also wiped out crops and revived cholera outbreaks in the hard-hit southwestern region. It left up to 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian relief.

Many feel angry about the slow pace of aid in the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and many expect lingering hurricane damage to depress voter turnout.

People walk in the street next to an electoral billboard of presidential candidate Jude Celestin of LAPEH (Alternative League for Progress and Emancipation of Haiti) Party ahead of the presidential election, in a street of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

People walk in the street next to an electoral billboard of presidential candidate Jude Celestin of LAPEH (Alternative League for Progress and Emancipation of Haiti) Party ahead of the presidential election. (REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

“Everyone talks about the elections. There’s not yet a candidate I will vote for,” said Joseph Jeanvinil, who works at a sanitarium in the southwestern port of Les Cayes.

“I’m still in the same house that has been destroyed. I haven’t found money for that yet,” he said, referring to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew.

Originally held in October 2015, the presidential vote was scrapped after protesters and politicians complained of rampant fraud. As a result, former President Michel Martelly left office in February with no elected successor, leaving the country in the hands of a transition government.

Among more than two dozen candidates competing for the top job are Jude Celestin, who ran a government construction company, and Moise Jean-Charles, a former senator.

Unless a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, or an advantage of at least 25 percent over the second-place candidate, the two top finishers move to a second round run-off scheduled for Jan. 29. The winner is expected to take office in late February.

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide speaks beside presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse, of Fanmi Lavalas party, during a rally ahead of the presidential election, in a street of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide speaks beside presidential candidate Maryse Narcisse, of Fanmi Lavalas party, during a rally ahead of the presidential election. (REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

A recent survey by polling firm BRIDES showed that local entrepreneur Jovenel Moise, a relative political newcomer, could be elected president in the first round for Martelly’s Bald Heads Party. Nevertheless, civil society groups say polls in Haiti are notoriously unreliable.

“The key question is whether the candidates who will not make it to the second round accept the results as legitimate,” said Robert Fatton, a political analyst who studies Haiti at the University of Virginia.

“I have serious doubts about this. So we may be headed to another post-electoral crisis.”

Some voting centers damaged by the storm will be replaced with tents, but officials say they are on track to hold the vote, which includes some parliamentary and local elections.

Since the hurricane, police and U.N. forces have assisted aid convoys, which have been attacked by desperate residents.

“Tensions could be exacerbated in the run-up to the upcoming elections as the delivery of assistance is expected to slow down,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a recent report.

Security forces are being redirected to the polls, as Haitian elections have tended to be marked by unrest.

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide made statements to supporters two weeks ago that critics interpreted as a call for violence if his party’s candidate, Maryse Narcisse, did not win.

Source: REUTERS

One Response to Haitians to vote on Sunday

  1. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes November 19, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    This country needs someone to truly look out for their best interest and not a money hungry person to take advantage of them.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *