CJ Politics

Durandis: A Political Race Against the Clock in Haiti

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 30, 2012

By Ilio Durandis
CJ Contributor

Common sense has left Haiti in the shadow of instability and incertitude.  Immediately after the earthquake that ravaged the country, both physically and in terms of human capacity, many people were betting on hope that a new day would rise from a horizon that was quickly evading and fading from our sight.

Not too long ago, with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS), Haiti was finally able to settle an electoral dispute, which gave rise to the presidency of Michel Martelly: in ann election, where less than 25 percent of the electorate cast a ballot.

The promises from the campaign had many Haitians hoping and wishing that indeed things would change.  The reality of campaigning and governing were tested from the first few months.

The first two choices for the Prime Minister’s post were rebuked by the lawmakers. It wasn’t until the technocrat, and former staff member of the Clinton foundation, Garry Conille was appointed that the lawmakers decided to approve the executive choice for head of government—at that point, the Martelly presidency was already in its fifth month.

In less than five months, Conille would resign, after reportedly not being able to take control of his ministerial cabinet.  .

From Conille to Laurent Lamothe, the current Prime Minister, not much has changed in the makeup of the ministerial cabinet, despite an early reshuffling by the latter.

A fragile Haiti, still in an embryonic stage of reconstruction, is in need of a leader who can exemplify leadership and instill confidence and trust in state affairs. Anything less could lead to a dangerous rupture of the society.

Haitian leaders need to bring back common sense to the country’s government, where each branch needs to focus on the multiple tasks at hand. Haiti’s society is on the brink. As the past months have proven, it does not take much to gather a few thousand people in the streets, and in Haiti, more often than not, people in the streets can be a recipe for instability.

People did not vote for continuity. As a matter of fact, President Martelly, during his campaign asked the Haitian people to bet on him, to trust that he was the man of the moment, the leader who would move the country forward, not backward, the one who would end the continuity of corruption, bad governance, waste, inefficiency, undemocratic values and so forth.

With a mandate of 60 months, if care is not taken and common sense does not reign supreme, it’s very plausible that the President and his team will find themselves in a race against time, and rest assured time does not stop for anyone.

The path forward should concentrate on organizing fair and non-compromised elections as quickly as possible, legalizing the levies on the wire transfers and international phone calls, executing a housing policy to shelter as many of the people still living in tents as possible, harmonizing the relations between the different branches of government, legalizing all the social programs, such as Ti-manman Cherie and, most importantly, drafting policies that will entice the Haitian Diaspora to come back and invest in job creation.

There is a ton of serious work to be done. However, this President, if he wants history to judge him in better light compared to his most recent predecessors, needs to transform himself into a leader with a surrounding of people who will not be afraid to disagree with him, but who will put the welfare of the nation and its people first and foremost.

The regressive political amphitheater that is Haiti needs to transform into an arena where progressive actions with the respect of the law rule.

It might be time for the President to reintroduce himself, and start leading the nation as the commander-in-chief, and not as the chief of a few commanders. Haiti’s people want a leader with cool head (tèt-frèt), and one who is able to govern with common sense.

It’s time to convince the people on a futuristic vision that will make Haiti an emergent country by 2030.

Time wasted non-sense is time which common sense may not be able to get back.

Let’s get back on the side of common sense, and lead Haiti out of this Dark Age.

Ilio Durandis, a Caribbean Journal contributor, is the founder of Haiti 2015, a social movement for a just and prosperous Haiti. He is also a columnist with The Haitian Times.

 

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