strategies for a developing world…

Can Haitians Stop Talking Past Each Other?

It has been a bit over two months since the government of Haiti fell. What do you mean the government fell, say you? Isn’t Rene Preval still President of Haiti? Yes, indeed. Mr. Preval is still the head of state. And yes, the government fell, but this time just as contemplated by the Constitution that was ratified Jacques Edouard Alexisback in 1987, but implemented haltingly during the last 20 years.

Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis got the boot when the Haitian Parliament, seized by the urgency of destructive and destabilizing food riots delivered a vote of no confidence. As a result he and his cabinet serve as caretakers while the President and Parliament settle on a new Prime Minister. So far, they have not been able to. This is progress, no?

ericq200 Perhaps in recognition of the need for enlightened management of the economy, President Preval nominated Haiti’s representative to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as the next Prime Minister. The Senate approved of the nomination of Ericq Pierre, but the House rejected it, claiming that he could not prove that he was in fact a red-blooded Haitian. Go figure!

During the haggling over Ericq Pierre or Pierre Ericq Pierre’s Haitian bona fides, concern about brutal and apparently unchecked wave of kidnappings took the spotlight away from concerns about belly aches. So… President Preval nominated his consiglieri Robert Manuelrobmanuel as the architect/poet turned crime buster who could deal with criminals with an iron fist. Last week, the House once again turned down the President’s nominee on the basis that he had not met the basic residency requirements. Manuel had returned from a self-imposed exile in 2005 to manage Preval’s campaign for a second presidential term. Haiti’s Constitution requires at least a 5-year continuous residency.

It’s back to the drawing board for the President and the Parliament. But as we wait for the third act, I wonder whether talking past each other is not in fact the real problem that Haitians face in Haiti and in the Diaspora.To use a cliche, why can’t Haitians all get along? Maybe you have the answer to this simple query. If you do, I invite you to share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

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1 Response

  1. It is sad and outrageous that every day the political impasse is not settled, thousands of Haitians children die due to illness and malnutrition. The ones who are lucky go hungry for yet another day!

    Haiti will change when Haitians stop hating one another. This is at the very core of our problems. Those who feel entitled and believe it is their right to be at the helm of power and the others who control the economy as a means of reining in the ones in power. It is a dire and vicious circle at its worst.

    The private sector has the ability to yield its influence by assisting in Haiti’s development, socially and economically. They should lead by example. The Govt. may not partner with them, however, the most important partnership they can garner is with the Haitian masse. In other progressive developing countries, the private sector has taken the reign to build coalition at all levels of society. The Haitian Private Sector must get off the fence and become less complacent. They should more importantly stop making endless excuses for their lack of support to Haiti’s development. We can’t blame the Govt. and give a pass to the private sector. Haiti’s failed state is the cumulative effect of everyone who could and didn’t…


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