My Message To Lavalas: Accept Defeat And Congratulate The Winner

Lavalas, the Haitian political left, has spent the last 30 years doing nothing but dechoukaj and kraze brize; they failed to offer the country an alternative, a better way to the “old way” [Duvalierism] they had fought and brought to the ground.

Sunday night, the Haitian people have spoken loud and clear, unambiguously. They rejected the terroristic agenda of the Lavalas left to embrace the message of hope Jovenel Moise has proposed and the inspiration he embodies.

The vote is a clear testimony that the people of Haiti want to see their country doing better on the global stage economically, politically and socially. And they are unequivocally convinced now, finally after 30 years of dechoukaj and kraze brize, that the extremism politics of the Lavalas left is not the path to take.

My message to my Lavalas brothers and sisters is this:

Losing an election is never an experience any politician would want to endure. I get that. But that’s the nature of the game –if we must picture politics as a contact sport.

This is not the time for bickering, certainly not the time to be indulging in terrorist activities. In spite of our political and ideological differences, we are condemned to live together as brothers and sisters.

More than ever before, this is the time to take the high road –show a little civility by accepting defeat and congratulating the winner. Spend ample time in retreat to assess what went wrong having caused you the election; strategize and come back stronger than ever before in mounting an open-minded opposition to the Jovenel Moise administration. The country needs you in that capacity to keep the next administration in check so to maintain the political equilibrium necessary for the well-being of our democracy.

There will be many more elections to come. Get to work today so the outcome of each and every single one of these next elections could be different and better for your side of the spectrum. Dechoukaj and kraze brize will not do it, nor will it help the country move forward. After three decades of applying these same refractory, deceptive and repressive tactics, it is time to show the world that you have matured a bit and that you have grown out of the politics of cynicism. Again, Jovenel Moise won the election fair and square. I suggest that you call him to concede the race and congratulate him on his victory. It is never too late to do the right thing, to do what the civilized world is expecting of you.

Haiti: Aristide Has Called for Violent Street Protests or “Dechoukaj” If Scheduled November 20 Elections Are Aborted

aristide

Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

The other day, as I was scrolling down my news feed on Facebook, I stumbled on this video clip of Jean-Bertrand Aristide campaigning alongside Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate for his Fanmi Lavalas Party, in which he is calling for “dechoukaj” [in English: violent street protests] in the event that his Lavalas associates in power fail to hold the scheduled November 20 elections.

That was very irresponsible on his part, being that he is a former president, someone who is expected to take the high road on the burning issues affecting our everyday lives.

I want to tell this man that we have enough of his politics of violence. The country cannot take another wave of “dechoukaj” and “kraze brize.” Ever since I know him, violence has always been his signature politics. His incitation to violence is proof that he has not evolved a notch.

Should his Lavalas associates continue to hold on to the people’s power illegally if they fail to organize the elections? Absolutely not. But we do not need a wave of “dechoukaj,” as Aristide is suggesting, to solve that problem.

Why should we always have to recourse to violence to make our voices heard? What has happened to the idea of holding peaceful protests in a democracy?

If his Lavalas associates in power fail to hold the elections, I am calling on the country’s social, political, religious and business forces to come together to propose the way forward to a peaceful transfer of power –to ask Jocelerm Privert, the country’s de facto president, and his cronies to get their grips off the people’s power so Judge Mecene Jean-Louis of the Supreme Court could take the leadership of the country with the ultimate mandate of closing the chapter of the overdue elections.

The country has had enough in the past few years –earthquake, hurricanes, floods, etc… –for this man to be inciting violence. Just last month, we got hit by a devastating hurricane, leaving the entire Southern peninsula in shambles. Yet, this defrocked priest could not find anything better to do with himself but to incite his followers to violent protests. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

Aristide represents everything that is not good for our country, everything that is keeping us in this state of lawlessness, instability and socioeconomic deprivation. We need to repudiate his politics of violence once and for all. After 30 years of the Lavalas anarchic philosophy, we say enough is enough. Now is the time for civility and tolerance in our political discourse. Now is the time to rebuild, not destroy. 

Jerry Tardieu Made a Terrible Mistake

Jerry-Tardieu2

Jerry Tardieu

JERRY TARDIEU made a terrible mistake for not running for president this time around. This is his moment; unfortunately, he prefers to let it pass by.

Some people, those who support his move [to serve in the Parliament FIRST before running for president], would probably think I am losing my mind for making such a bold inference.

Had he decided to run for president, nothing would have stopped him from winning the election hands down; this is his moment.

Why postponing for later when your time to shine, your time to seize the spotlight has arrived? Talking about the audacity of daring to dare?

The people who support his move [to serve in the Parliament as deputy first before running for president] are making the case that being a deputy of a high-profile city like Petion-Ville will place him in the national spotlight, which will make it easier for him to win the National Palace should he decide to run for president later. WRONG!!!!

I would have agreed with JERRY’s move had he been running for mayor of Petion-Ville. Technically, a mayor has more executive, political and leadership responsibilities than a deputy. Unlike a deputy, a mayor has a budget to manage, an agenda to fulfill, and a group of people to command and lead. So as mayor of Petion-Ville, JERRY would have been the president of the city.

After his term as mayor, he would have had enough to show to the world what he could accomplish as president –if given the chance. But running for deputy? To do what exactly?! To place him in the national spotlight, as some of his supporters are arguing? Does he not already have that national spotlight? He is not in the Chamber of Deputies as we speak, yet for what he has been doing on the ground, he is in the national spotlight more than some deputies I knew in the 49th Legislature. So what’s the purpose of him being in the Chamber?

Some are making the argument that only people in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel know of him; he is unknown to the rest of the country.

Well, that’s what political campaigns are for –to introduce yourself to the people and sell your political agenda to them.

When Obama was running for president, though he was already serving in the US Senate representing the State of Illinois, I bet he was unknown to most people in the country. He campaigned hard all across the 50 States to introduce himself and sell his message of hope which resonated to the majority of the electorate. Guess what? He won over the Clinton political machine to get the Democratic nomination, which is not a simple thing in itself, beat both McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, and he has been in the White House for six years now.

I am not saying that notoriety does not help, but what will get you to win political races are two major elements: campaign strategy and money. Otherwise, forget about it.

In my humble opinion, JERRY’s move is a WASTE of time. He has missed a golden opportunity; he and his supporters must admit it.

Well, what do I know? Since Valery Numa had said on his radio show [during his clash with Clarens Renois] that he had advised JERRY not to run for president this time around, to run for deputy instead, I guess he has acted upon Numa’s advice.

For The Sake of Accountability, Pierre-Louis OPONT Ought to Be Fired

Pierre-Louis OPONT, the President of the Provisional Electoral Council

Pierre-Louis OPONT, the President of the Provisional Electoral Council

After reading this Nouveliste article, Opont a-t-il appris la lecon ?, I could not contain my feeling of discontentment to learn how the August 9 elections were rigged with serious irregularities and violence.

In my humble opinion, I think this Pierre-Louis OPONT ought be fired; he is a failure. Only in Haiti do you see failures being honored and remunerated; only in Haiti do you see someone who blatantly failed in his mission being kept in his position to further fail the nation again and again every chance they get.

Does ACCOUNTABILITY hold any meaning to these people at all?

With responsibility, comes accountability; with accountability, come reward and punishment. That being said, Pierre-Louis OPONT, as president of the electoral council, had the responsibility to gather all available resources at his disposal to successfully organize the Sunday legislative elections. Instead, he brought us shame and despair with his shortcomings. So because he failed to deliver exactly what was expected of him, meaning in accordance with the terms of the mission entrusted with him, he must be held accountable. In other words, he must be fired.

In fact, this man has a track record of failure. He was a high-ranking cadre in the Gaillot Dorsainvil Provisional Electoral Council of 2010; we all know what these guys had done with the elections and how miserable they had failed the country. And we turned around rewarded one of the authors of the electoral blunder with the leadership of the current electoral council. How smart! You cannot be putting failures like OPONT in positions of leadership and expecting successful results. It is not going to happen.

So for the sake of accountability, Pierre-Louis OPONT, the actual had of the electoral council, ought to be asked to resign or be fired –for having miserably failed the country with these bogus elections. The longer he stays in his position, the more tampered the people’s trust will be in the electoral process.

Lil Wayne and Chris Brown Were in Haiti for a Concert of Controversy

On Friday, June 26, 2015, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Swizz Beatz and a panoply of Haitian artists came together under the label of Big O Production of Olivier Martelly, the oldest son of President Martelly of Haiti, to produce the biggest and most controversial concert in the entertainment history of the nation.

According to The Source, an American entertainment magazine, “over 100,000 people” turned out on Champs de Mars, the country’s largest public square, to witness history being made.

Days before the kickoff of the fest, Haitians from all walks of life came out on the radio, street corners and social media to shed their commentaries in support or against it.

The people were diametrically divided on the tenure of the event. If some believed that the moment was not to celebrate, especially not at a time when the Dominican government was deporting illegally and indiscriminately thousands of our people, Olivier Martelly believed otherwise. He saw in the free concert an opportunity to put Haiti in the international spotlight and on the global tourist map. Speaking to Ticket Magazine, he stated:

I am personally very passionate about everything having to do with my country, Haiti. The artists are aware of everything and hope to attract positive attention to the country […] Haiti is back on the world tourist map for some time. Welcoming these megastars is a huge publicity campaign for us. Check out the commentaries on the internet ever since the word about the concert has been out, everybody is talking about it.

Carel Pedre of Radio One, opined along the same lines as Olivier on his radio show as reported by Le Nouvelliste in an article entitled Un concert qui tombe mal. He just could not see how a free concert could harm anything. For him, all the polemic that surrounded the concert was due to the fact that the people were left with the impression that the government did not seem to care about the deportees, who were arriving on our soil in record numbers from the Dominican Republic.

Two things had caused and fueled the controversy that surrounded the concert:

a. the unexpected sociopolitical conjoncture created by the deportation of thousands of our brothers and sisters from the Dominican Republic;

b. the people behind it are related to the country’s political leadership.

Both Olivier and Carel were right on target –from an entertainment perspective. But too bad they are not politicians. They were looking at the concert, and I would not hold that against them, only from an entertainment perspective. That’s where they got it all misconstrued. Whether they wanted it or not, and it was very unfortunate, the event had more of a political connotation than anything else.

In politics, there is this concept called TIMING, a major factor in thinking through political strategies and actions. We have seen such concept played out all the time in American politics. You have to be able to choose the right timing to make political moves. Otherwise, the political fallouts you would have to deal with could be very dreadful and cataclysmic.

Regardless how one is going to spin the politics of the concert to make it fit all rules of political correctness, it is not going to sit well in the court of public opinion, not when it was hosted by the President’s son at a time when we are dealing with an unprecedented sociopolitical situation with the massive deportation of thousands of our people from the Dominican Republic.

The idea behind the concert is great. I personally support it and think we should host concerts of such magnitude in the country every Spring Break or summer in an attempt to sell the paradisiac nature of our country and attract tourists on our shores to come spend money in the economy. The only issue with it was that the timing was POLITICALLY off. But aside from that, I think Big O Production should not and must not let the politics that surrounds this first experience stop him from putting together other concerts of this envergure in the future.

The Expulsion of Jacky Lumarque From The Presidential Race Is Too Little Too Late

Jacky Lumarque of the Verite Party

Jacky Lumarque of the Verite Party

The Provisional Electoral Council (PEC), the nine-member institution commissioned to organize free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections in Haiti, has issued yesterday afternoon a press release to inform the population in general and the political parties in particular that Jacky LUMARQUE, the representative of the Verite Party, the party of former President Preval, in the race has been expelled for not having his discharge certificate, a requirement made by the electoral decree in its Article 90 paragraph (h).

The expulsion of Lumarque –from the list of the candidates accredited by the (PEC) to participate in the upcoming presidential election –is too little too late. It is nothing but a farce or intrigue orchestrated by Martelly and Preval to delude or baffle the people’s vigilance and make them believe that the electoral institution can be trusted to equitably fulfill its mission. We are not going to fall for that.

According to Rudolph Boulos, five of the nine members of the council receive their orders directly from Preval. In other words, it is partially controlled by a very influential leader of a political party –the supreme leader of the Verite Party. So we do not trust the institution to organize free, credible, transparent, inclusive and democratic elections in the country.

While the Provisional Electoral Council is at it, while they are cleaning up the house by excluding from the presidential race those candidates not having their discharge certificate, we are asking them not to forget to apply the same rules to these councilmembers –Pierre-Louis Opont, former General Manager of the PEC that had organized the 2010 elections; Marie Carmelle Paul-Austin, former Education Minister; Yolette Menguale and Nehemie Joseph, members of the previous PEC –who too need to have their clearance papers. Their presence in the institution violates Article 90 of the electoral decree. They cannot be enforcing a law which they are not in conformity with. Without their proper discharge papers, they have no business to be in the institution pushing candidates away for lacking the same piece of document as them.

This Provisional Electoral Council has no credibility to organize the elections; it does not inspire trust. We do not trust it to honorably fulfill its mission, which is to organize free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. We do not feel safe participating in these elections, not when we know that the institution is controlled by rival political parties. We want democratic elections in the country, not a SELECTION where the winners are already decided –without the full participation of the population.

The Provisional Electoral Council Is Preparing a SELECTION in Haiti

Vote Haiti

The Provisional Electoral Council (PEC) in Haiti, the institution formed ad hoc to organize the upcoming elections, is preparing a SELECTION, in total disregard of the civil and political rights of the Haitian people.

Honest, credible and law-abiding candidates have seen their candidacies rejected by the PEC for political reasons.

The Haitian people demand fair, credible, transparent and inclusive elections –the way it should be done in a democracy –to guarantee political stability and economic growth and development. I do not think that is too much to ask.

So we are calling on the international community, mainly the United States, co-financing these elections to stand for what is right and make certain that the democratic rights of the people are respected. Millions of dollars should not be wasted in financing bogus and undemocratic elections in Haiti.

Kenny Desmangles Should Join Disip

Some people may have assumed, unrightfully so, that I have an issue with Kenny F. Desmangles, especially after they had read my commentaries on his decision to leave Zenglen.

Not at all and absolutely not. I do not have an issue with the artist. The thing is, though, I admire his talent too much to be able to tell him what others won’t –maybe for the sake of complacency, or they want to tell him what he wants to hear [even when what he wants to hear is very destructive for his music career].

Like me or not, I have one obligation, and that is to tell you the honest truth. Now, what you choose to do with it, after I put it out raw to you, is your business.

It has been noise that the artist’s next move beyond Zenglen could be his solo career, especially after he had dropped this banging solo album entitled Full Sèvis [I highly recommend it; it’s very good].

Well, I object to such idea for the simple fact that going solo in Konpa is recipe for career suicide. He needs to be in a band. Otherwise, he can kiss his music career goodbye.

Before all you Konpa analysts refute my objection, I want you to tell me one Konpa solo artist who made it in the business. Well, for the sake of being optimistic, maybe Kenny will be the first to defy the norm; you never know.

Another chatter out there has it that he will reassemble 509. If this is, indeed, his plan going forward, he needs to be very honest with himself and his supporters to see if this is the best and most advantageous move for him. If I were to advise him, I would tell him not to let his short-sightedness and foolish ambitions guide him to embark on this dead-end journey.

Okay, Emann Joasil, you don’t think going solo or reconstructing 509 is the best decision for him, we understand that. But what in your opinion he should do?

Good question! As I briefly stated earlier, he needs to be in a band. There is absolutely no question about that. But which one of them, though? That is exactly the million-dollar question we need to tackle.

In my opinion, Disip is the perfect fit for him. What makes you think so, Emann Joasil?

Okay, let me explain. In Disip he will be next to Gazzman Couleur, a career vocalist, a superstar, someone having nothing to prove anymore in the business and with whom he will not have to worry about finding himself in competition for stardom and influence. Any of these other bands he would integrate, he will find himself caught up in futile, childish, and stupid competition with this other vocalist he will be standing next to, which will have negative drawbacks on the band’s upward progression and forward mobility. That’s a sad reality we cannot overlook if we want to be accurate in our analysis.

Also, in Disip these two guys will establish a complementary relationship –exactly like it was in Nu Look with Gazzman and Arly –which will make it possible for the two of them to shine together. He complements Gazzman just like Gazzman complements him. Gazzman is a stage animal, he is not quite. Yet, he is a great producer, arranger and composer; Gazzman is not quite. He can handle the Konpa Love tunes better than Gazzman can [I presume]; Gazzman can handle the uptempo tunes way better than he can [I presume]. That is what is called a complementary relationship.

Kenny Desmangles will have to come out some time soon to tell us what his next move will be. I am hoping he makes the best move for himself. In the meantime, I am calling on Gazzman to meet up with him for lunch to talk business. Gazzman needs to make him a juicy or sweet offer he cannot refuse, and it must be on paper.

We have to conserve and protect the artist. It will hurt me to see such a talent vanishing in the firmament like so many talented artists before him because of “bad” decisions. I have nothing to gain in his success or lose in his failure. As a concerned observer and lover of Konpa, I was only brainstorming on a situation that pertains to a young artist of my generation. That’s all. Well, what do I know?

Should Moise Jean-Charles Be Reelected To The Haitian Senate?

The job of a senator in any country’s senate is mainly to champion legislations that could better the lives of his/her constituents. This same definition does apply to all of our senators in the Haitian Senate, including Moise Jean-Charles, the senator from the country’s Northern District.

In light of that, has Moise Jean-Charles fulfilled successfully, commendably and honorably his legislative mission or responsibility? That’s a very good question, one that can be the object of a serious debate among the people in his constituency.

Depending on whom the question is directed to, the answer will be different. Some will say “yes,” some will say “no.” But regardless who wins this debate, one thing we know for certain is that we the people from the other districts did not send him to the Senate. So it does not come to us to make such determination.

With responsibility comes accountability –an important concept in public service and everything else in life. When you have the responsibility to do something, you must be held accountable. And that is exactly what is missing in the world of Haitian politics.

In Haiti, we have a representative democracy, meaning instead of having the entire 10 million of us talking about the issues that matter to us, we delegate people to do the job for us. And these people are in the country’s Parliament.  We call them senators and deputies.

So when you elect someone to represent you, when you delegate authority to someone to talk on your behalf and defend your interests, you have the utmost responsibility to hold that person accountable. And the fact that we do not have a culture of accountability in our politics, that poses a major hindrance or impediment to our democracy and, by proxy, the forward progression and upward mobility of our nation.

Now, let’s directly address the people from the Northern District, the people who elected Moise Jean-Charles to represent them in the country’s Senate. Your senator [Moise Jean-Charles] will be running for reelection, I presume. He will be coming to you to ask you to reelect him.  If you people are not a bunch of airheads, before you cast that vote to renew his employment contract to send him back to the Senate, you will evaluate his legislative report card to see the bills he had sponsored and cosponsored during his tenure as Senator of the Republic.

You people from the Northern District sent the man to the Senate, so it comes to you to evaluate and hold him accountable. The rest of us from the other districts cannot do your job for you; he is not running for the presidency –a statewide office. If he is going to run for president, then that will be a different story. But for now, if ever he decides to run for reelection, if ever he comes before you to ask for a renewal of his employment contract, you must exercise the power of your vote to deliberate on his legislative accomplishments. That, at the very least, is expected of you; that is your civic duty.

PM Lamothe Should Not Resign

Prime Minister Lamothe visiting Port-de-Paix, the administrative capital of the Northwest District.

Prime Minister Lamothe of Haiti visiting Port-de-Paix, the administrative capital of the country’s Northwest District.

PM Lamothe should not resign, nor should he give in to the pressures coming from the Lavalas‬ opposition, the drug dealers, the kidnappers, the criminals, the crooks  and the gang leaders. His destitution has to be constitutional, meaning the Parliament has to convene to vote him down.

I thought these folks in the Lavalas opposition were for the respect of the Constitution, though. Maybe I misunderstood what they had been saying all along.

The Parliament, a state institution, had voted PM Lamothe up; they have to vote him down if/when they want him to go. That is what the Constitution demands, that is how we must proceed. The Constitution is our compass; we must be guided by it.

If the parliamentarians decide to keep the Prime Minister in, nothing the Lavalas opposition can do about it. The deputies and senators are the true representatives of the people, not the Lavalas thugs on the streets, who do not represent even 1% of the population. 

We opt for the respect of the Constitution to settle this case. We are in a representative democracy, so we must let the institution of the Parliament decide on the fate of the Prime Minister. That is all we are asking. Meanwhile, the Lavalas anarchists can keep dancing and chanting on the streets until they fall dead.

Yes, to every exceptional situation an exceptional decision is warranted, but that does not mean we have to depart from the prescriptions of the Constitution.

We are not saying that PM Lamothe is untouchable, and that he cannot lose his position. What we are saying, though, is that if he is going to be let go, it must be done in harmony with the spirit and dictate of the Constitution. Any other way will be unconstitutional, and we must not engage in unconstitutionality to settle this contention.