OPINION: Why Lavalas Lost The Election To Jovenel Moise?

In the US Army, where I served for six years, there is this psychological exercise called After Action Review (AAR) we do after every event, training session, etc. to improve our performance in the future. During such exercise, together as a group, we answer questions such as: what was supposed to happen? What actually happened? What went right? What went wrong? What we need to improve on to better our performance next time?

In light of this exercise, we are going to try to tackle this pertinent question: Why Lavalas lost the election to Jovenel Moise?

That’s a very important question, one anyone with a sound mind would expect to dominate the conversations in all Lavalas circles at this juncture in the game. Unfortunately, such is not the case. Instead, they are hopping on the radio one after the other wasting their times in propagating falsehoods about the winning candidate in an attempt to delegitimize him. When it is not that, they are in the streets yelling at the top of their lungs, breaking stuff, burning tires, engaging in all sorts of terrorist activities only to disturb the peace as usual and further worsen the political instability in the country.

Lavalas lost because:

1. They did not have a consolidated base –the divisions and bickerings inside the movement have caused the base to be fragmented at its own demise. As a result, such reality has weakened all the groupuscules with Lavalas tendencies [Lapeh, Pitit Desalin, Fanmi Lavalas, Renmen Ayiti, etc]. Meanwhile, if they had come together to nominate one candidate as the alternative to Jovenel, I am not sure if that would have been enough to win them the election, but they could have given him a good run for his money.

2. They did not have a revolutionary and inspiring message that could resonate with the majority of the voters, especially the young voters. Holding the Martelly administration responsible for everything not working in the country [after only 5 years] is one thing, but proposing how to make things better is another. It was really hard for them to make the case against Martelly, let along against Jovenel –after they had spent 20 years in power and failed to deliver for the country. So the people looked at it like this: if you were in power for that long and failed to make good on your promises, why should we put you in charge again? In a sense, they were viewed as the main sector responsible for the dire reality they wanted to be hired to fix. So they were in a very tough spot.

3. Not only did they not have such revolutionary and inspiring message, they did not have an inspiring leader the youths could relate to –the leadership was composed of a bunch of old farts, the traditional chameleon or “abolotcho” politicians, whom the people have rejected long ago for their politics of obsolescence, mediocrity, terror, treachery and deceitfulness.

4. They represented the past to a young electorate, a social media electorate, which rendered them totally out of touch. While Jovenel was effectively using the latest technologies –Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Periscope, etc… — to reach out to the young people and get his inspiring message out to them, these Lavalas sore losers were using the same old and outdated campaign tactics and practices they were using during the 1990 presidential election, which had witnessed the rise of Aristide from priesthood to statehood.

5. Last but not least, they had shown their incapacity to effectively staff and run a successful political campaign. They relied mostly on their amateurism politics and so-called education to outperform Jovenel, who staffed his campaign with folks with years of experience in campaign organization and operation.

In conclusion, the election was not stolen from the Lavalas sore losers. The allegation of massive fraud they were pushing could not sustain –due to lack of convincing evidence –before the electoral judges, in the electoral tribunal. That was a political play with the intent to boycott and torpedo the election. This time around, it did not work as they had hoped –they were hoping to see a repeat of 2015, when they had used terror to impose their collective will on the majority.

The Lavalas lost fair and square to Jovenel, who run a very effective, aggressive, revolutionary and state-of-the-art campaign. If anything, if they are really smart, they need to spend ample time studying his campaign so they could emulate every aspect of it in future elections. If they don’t do that, they can forget about winning presidential elections for a long time.

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PM Lamothe Should Endorse Jovenel for President

Lamothe and Jovenel

PM Laurent Lamothe and Presidential Candidate Jovenel Moise

Now that the presidential campaign phase for the Lavalas election is pretty much on the way, candidates from all walks of life are looking around for political endorsements –to increase their chances of winning the election. One of the big endorsements they are probably flirting with is that of former Prime Minister Lamothe.

The former prime minister is not in the race, so it would be pointless to support his candidacy, as I passionately did when he attempted to run for president last year. He will get my full and unconditional support whenever he decides to run again. But, in the meantime, we on the right of the political spectrum have a horse in the race, and that is Jovenel Moise, Neg Bannann nan, whom PM Lamothe agree with ideologically and politically to some extent.

If you run an opinion poll right now, you will find out that most of the people that had supported PM Lamothe for president are with Jovenel. There is a reason for that, and the reason is that they both have more things they agree on ideologically and politically than they disagree on –they are both on the right.

We [on the right] have an election to win for the country. So we are making a patriotic call to PM Lamothe for him to rally behind Jovenel in this election. In my humble opinion, I think it would be a big political miscalculation on his part to pick someone else to endorse or not endorse anyone at all. As a politician, you should always prime the country’s best interest over anything else –the country cannot survive five years of the Lavalas anarchists.

PM Lamothe does not have to join PHTK to endorse Jovenel. I am not a member of PHTK, yet I am a diehard supporter of Jovenel. Many Republicans, for instance, have supported Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, over Donald Trump, the nominee of their party. This is about the country, not party affiliation.

When you want to see certain political, economic and social changes occur, since you are a political heavyweight, any politician, whom you agree with ideologically, looking for your political endorsement must pay a price. That price, of course, will not be in monetary value or anything; it would be in that politician’s agenda. That politician must accept to make some key policy changes in the agenda upon which he or she intends to campaign and win. I was thrilled when I heard Jovenel mention during an interview that he intends to continue with the signature policies Laurent Lamothe had championed –Ti Manman Cheri, Kore Etidyan, Restoran Popile, etc –which he got beaten for left and right by the Lavalas leftists.

We just got to witness what happened between Bernie and Hillary in the Democratic Party. Bernie and Hillary had some serious policy disagreements, explaining the reason as to why we had a very heated primary. After Hillary had secured the nomination, knowing that it would be mathematically and politically impossible for her to win the general election without the Bernie supporters, representatives of both campaigns met to craft the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Bernie got in there a lot of the things he had wanted for the young people and working class Americans who voted for him –such as debt-free college education for the young people and $15 minimum wage, which Hillary politically calls a “living wage,” for the working class. That’s how it is done.

As a new generation politician, PM Lamothe needs to show that he embodies a different kind of politics; he needs to break ties with the archaic way of doing politics in the country. Political grudges and bickerings won’t change the dire socioeconomic situation of the majority, which he has pledged to topple. My advice to him is to join hands with Jovenel, our candidate in the race, and together make the changes happen. Of course, not everything they are going to agree on. That’s politics. But if they focus on the things they agree on, they can accomplish a lot together for the betterment of the country.