THE PREVAL ADMINISTRATION MUST BE INVESTIGATED

Rene G. Preval, president of Haiti

Accountability is the essence of good governance. When after the earthquake many so-called leaders in the likes of Tunebe Delpe were seizing the headlines in their misleading efforts of satisfying their selfish agendas, I was amongst the many people who had called them out. They were acting in an irresponsible manner which could have further endangered the existence of the nation. They were putting the people on the streets of Port-au-Prince protesting and asking for the resignation of the democratically elected president and the reinstatement of Jean Bertrand Aristide, who is now living in exile in South Africa, as President. I then took an active and bold stand to warn the people to not be following these political opportunists, these political mercenaries. Mind you, these same guys had contributed to the political conjuncture that culminated to the ousting of Jean Bertrand Aristide through a brutal coup d’etat.

My opposition to that reckless proposition from these self-proclaimed leaders was based on a matter of democratic principle. We all know that President Preval, whether you are a friend or a foe, was elected by the people, meaning democratically through an election which, per many people’s conclusive accounts, reflected the people’s choice. So if he was elected, and the choice was made in compliance with the prescriptions outlined in the Constitution; if he were to be disposed of his mandate, should that not be materialized by following the guidelines of the Constitution? I do think so.

 President Preval did not cause the earthquake that took the lives of 300,000 of our brothers and sisters and caused over one million to be living in tents. However, his management of the aftermath, his politics of nonchalance and mutism further aggravated the already chaotic situation. For about a week following the tragedy, the leadership of the country was totally inexistent; it was nowhere to be found, and the people were dying of desperation hoping to receive some directives from the president they elected to lead the nation in times of peace, war and distress. There was a vacuum of leadership, and it was very well exploited by some people from the international community, which once again had put the sovereignty of the nation in danger. The people, in the middle of the raging sea, were left to swim their way out –the exemplification of the “degaje w pou w soti” philosophy of President Preval.

We already know what Mr. Preval’s plan is, and we are actually witnessing it in the making. As I mentioned in many instances, his plan is to manipulate the election in his favor -to hand the continuity of the nation to his protégé, JUDE CELESTIN. That is why you see the Provisory Electoral Council (PEC) is saturated with nothing but his cronies. Mind you, this institution, the Provisory Electoral Council (a constitutional recommendation), is to be apolitical and nonpartisan with the mandate of organizing credible and honest elections in the country. Its members were handpicked by President Preval; they have no sense of credibility to get the people to have faith in the electoral process.

Now, once again, following the results of the FRAUDULENT November 28 elections published Tuesday night, the country is on the verge of a political crisis. Preval and the PEC, in their game of manipulation of the elections, were caught in the act of stealing the vote, causing the people to go on a rampage destroying and burning anything that comes to their minds –anything we have still standing after the disastrous earthquake. The sovereignty of the country, once again, is in great danger because of the sense of irresponsibility of our leaders.

I am not a constitutional lawyer; therefore, I am not quite aware of the dictate of the Constitution in terms of how to address Mr. Preval’s case. However, I do not think one needs to be a lawyer to know that this government has failed the people in many, many instances. So President Preval’s term is soon to be over, explaining the reason why we are now having this presidential election. I am calling on the lawyers –foreign and national -standing with the people of Haiti to investigate the government’s management of the January the 12th tragedy, its involvement in these fraudulent November 28 elections, and take necessary LEGAL actions to hold these people accountable.

These guys need to answer certain pertinent questions. We will never know the reasons behind the absence of the country’s leadership in the aftermath of the earthquake if we don’t take action to find out. We will never know the backroom deals that went down between Preval, the PEC and Celestin if we are not determined and resolute to find out.

The Preval administration needs to be investigated. What will come out of this legal action is unpredictable. However, if he and his acolytes are found guilty of the charges held against them, they need to face the legal repercussions. And we do not need exile for anyone of them. They need to be given a clean bill of service in the people’s court of law. When are we going to start holding our leaders accountable? If not now, when?

WYCLEF: A GOLDEN BULLET NOT TO BE WASTED

Some people could say, and rightly so, that I was too harsh on Wyclef when he had declared his candidacy for the presidency in Haiti. Yes, I was, and I had my personal reason for that. Most of us, and possibly including Wyclef, knew that he was not quite ready to lead the country at this very unique and unprecedented socio-political juncture in the country’s history. In spite of that, we had the same people -who were using Aristide as a political card for their own selfish political agendas only to turn their backs on him right in the middle of the raging sea, when the game got tough -on the forefront catapulting Wyclef again as a political card. I and many others said not this time.

Wyclef is a VALUABLE ammunition which we cannot afford seeing wasted. I was fiercely opposing the idea of having him then running for the presidency. In a sense, it was good sport for him to have tested the waters to have a sense of what he needs to prepare himself for the job. I had been writing extensively on the issue, and thank God it seems as though he has been listening, which is a great thing.

Wyclef has proven to us that he is a fighter, and he does not take defeat lightly. As a fighter on the battlefield, that’s what you do -you assess your defeats to find the causes, correct them, and engage the enemy again with a winning state of mind.

After his defeat by the PREVAL Provisory Electoral Council (PPEC), I wrote to advise him to start his campaign for 2015 the day of. That’s what you do as a politician who believes in a dream to transform the face of your country and the situation of your constituents. So Wyclef started his campaign for 2015 the day he got rejected by the PPEC.

In this election cycle, Wyclef was facing two uphill battles –the legal battle and the perception battle. So he is working on making sure that in 2015, if he will have to endure battles, they are not the ones he just got defeated in.

  1. He lost the legal battle because he could not prove that he was legally residing in the country for five consecutive years following the last presidential election as stated in the Constitution of the land. This is an easy fix. All he has to do is to be in compliance with the law by maintaining his residency in Haiti. He needs to get his lawyer’s counsel on how to go by doing that.
  2. We all know that in politics, whether you want to admit it or not, perception is reality. So on the perception front, he was being hammered left and right by the people who did not think he was educated enough, who did not think he met the intellectual profile of someone worthy to be considered as president. This could be a little toughy, for it is not really easy to change people’s perceptions of you. But he is working on that. The last report I have come in contact with confirmed that he is looking forward to attending Brown University, one of the best institutions of higher learning in the United States. On Tuesday, October 5, 2010, he twitted:   “I Had a great day Yesterday [at] BRown University and look forward to being a Great student and learn as much as I can to take back home.”  
  3. When he was complaining on Facebook about nothing being done to remove the rubbles after nine months of the earthquake, in my blog on Facebook, I wrote “Wyclef: Let Me Holler at You” and slammed him (http://www.facebook.com/notes.php?id=907295022&notes_tab=app_2347471856#!/note.php?note_id=441370712272). My argument was that as a leader, when you see something needs to be done, and you have the means to mobilize and motivate the people and get them to make it happen, you act on it; you don’t complain about things not being done. He is doing exactly that, according to Le Nouvelliste of Tuesday, October 05, 2010 (http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article.php?PubID=1&ArticleID=84221&PubDate=2010-10-05). He has been very active with his organization Yele creating jobs and giving his people on the ground a chance to live better days in a society where desperateness and hopelessness are sapping the inner lives of the people.    

The therapeutic way to cure one’s fear is to have him/her face it, not running away from it. I remember vividly just like it was yesterday that when I was a little boy growing up in Gonaives, Haiti, I was so afraid of “lamayot” that one day I came across one and literally defecated on me. My mother, who found out about the accident, felt embarrassed and decided to do something about it. One Sunday afternoon, she, who did not have any clinical psychology experience to know what she was doing, brought the “lamayot” in the house and had me face, touch and talk to him. And that was the end of my fear of “lamayots” until today. I say all this to say one thing: I want Wyclef to be back PREPARED in 2015 to face and overcome the challenge.

Wyclef is a golden bullet my generation has in its political arsenal which we cannot afford to see going into waste at this early stage in his political career. I do not know what the future has in the bank for him, but I want you to keep eyes on him. He will be back roaring stronger and louder than ever before.