Haiti Leadership Issue Stymies Recovery Effort

Haiti President Preval

The issue here is that unless Prval alllows free, open, and honest elections – none of the major donors is willing to go forward with plans to reconstruct the country.

Preval rejects US advice on presidential election

Haiti’s president on Wednesday rejected U.S. Senate recommendations on holding an election for his successor, brushing off criticism that the current process will leave the shattered country without a credible leader.

A report issued this month by Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “strongly encourages” Haiti to let its international partners help restructure the eight-member Provisional Electoral Council, which has been accused of corruption.

The report also recommends ensuring the participation of the key opposition party of ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, which was blocked from participating in 2009 legislative contests because of a dispute over rival candidate lists.

On Tuesday, President Rene Preval fulfilled one recommendation of the report by issuing a signed decree setting election day for Nov. 28.

But speaking at a news conference in an open-air gazebo alongside the broken remains of the national palace a day later, Preval told reporters he had no intention of complying with the rest, including changing the election body, known as the CEP. Continue reading

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