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2011 USA intervention in Haitian elections

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USA government decides on Haitian election candidates; Hillary Clinton draws the short straw, and breaks the bad news to Haiti: The guy you wrote in as a joke, Michel Martelly? He's now the other guy that you have to vote for instead of Aristide, or Fanmi Lavalas, or Rene Preval, or Jude Celestin, or whoever we get rid of next

Way back in 2009, the Fanmi Lavalas party, closest to Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was forbidden participation in Haiti's November '10 elections by the provisional election council created by the current president, Rene Preval. But not content with that assassination of democracy, and under cover of the Egyptian protests, the US, to the orchestrated swell of allegations of voter fraud as a pretext for runoff elections, pressured Haiti to remove Jude Celestin, the candidate least affiliated with right-wing Haitian government, US-backed Haitian governments, Haitian dictators, or all three. The US also pressured Haiti to add Michel Martelly to the ballot, to face Mirlande Manigat in the revised election.[1]

[edit] Election fraud debunked; voter boycott proved

File:Haiti Election Vote Recount (Percent of Registered Voters).png
75% of voters are reported to have stayed away from the April 2011 runoff elections. The 71% of Haitians who did not vote in the November 2010 elections was one of the reasons the USA claimed for the runoff and ousting of Celestin. Turns out it was more of a reason for the US to get the f out of the world's business before the 'democracies' they install stop voting altogether

Michelle Martelly won the subsequent runoff election, that was also "marred by problems". The fact that 71% of Haitians stayed away from an election without Lavalas was used to justify the runoff election and give credence to the claims of voter fraud by Celestin. But at the runoff election itself, the turnout was even lower; 25% instead of 29%.[1] The recent voter turnouts are a slump back to pre-Aristide levels; 60% or more of Haitians voted in all the elections in which Jean-Bertrand Aristide or his Lavalas party were on the ballot.[2][3][4][5]

File:Michel Martelly Poster.JPG
'Sweet Micky' poster, 23 November 2010

Michel Martelly, 'popularly known as' (literally, 'popularly') "Sweet Micky" — a moniker sometimes used interchangeably to refer to himself as well as his band — is a Haitian performing and recording artist, composer,[6] and musical sociopolitical activist, who breaks the expected lefty mold of American and British entertainers with his well-hidden support for the Duvalier regime.[7] Between the time of the 1991 coup d'état and the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1994, he also supported the government of disbanded Haitian military and pro-US forces that deposed Aristide and took power.[7][8] He ran on a platform of nothing much in particular, being described as a joke candidate by many reports, and of course nepotism and voter fraud by Celestin.

Mirlande Manigat is the presidential candidate for the right of center Rally of Progressive National Democrats (RDNP) party. She is the wife of former president Leslie Manigat,[9] who won the presidential election of January 17, 1988 with 50.29% of the votes, defeating ten other candidates. However, voter turnout was well under 10%. Few historians and vote monitors consider this election to have been democratic. She ran on a platform of education and change, and of course nepotism and voter fraud by Celestin.

Jude Celestin, the ousted candidate, is a pretty boy with incumbent backing, an easy mark as the bad guy for lefties, but in addition to a lack of connections with the forces of darkness, he has a connection the US has already proven is on the top of their regime change To Do list (Jean-Bertrand Aristide#2004 destabilization and coup): his work in the state-owned construction industry.

Celestin was leader of the National Equipment Center (CNE), the nationalized construction company in Haiti which instead of building rural roads, has had to switch to rescue and debris-clearing after the January earthquake 2010 earthquake.[10] A relative newcomer to politics, he was nonetheless the pick of current president René Préval, if only because he was the only candidate without political connections and therefore interests outside of Haiti.

INITE campaign poster for the 2010 elections picturing Jude Celestin and his non-winning smile. Photoshopped in behind him is heavy machinery similar to the type that is no longer under his direction. Hopefully it will not be sold off to the highest bidder, ala post-'collapse' Russia, before Haiti can rebuild itself

Celestin had his work cut out for him, being closely tied to the incumbent president who was prevented by two-term-limit laws from running again, in a country whose perception of the performance of its government must see through the calamity of an earthquake and a cholera epidemic. He may have been his own worst enemy with his refusal to campaign either hard or dirty; nonetheless, he made it to the top three, by hook or crook or just plain luck. Sometimes the right things happen for the wrong reasons.

Despite media that were following the November race having narrowed it down to the three candidates,[11] the media immediately after was full of statements such as "Jude Celestin, who unexpectedly came in second place".[12] But then, they had the benefit of something news agencies who had been paying attention did not have: the ability to take at face value both Martelly and Manigat's allegations of voter fraud by Celestin, on the same day of the elections, in what turned out to be a winning strategy.[11] Celestin's campaign headquarters was burned to the ground a day after the preliminary results were announced, which no doubt hampered the campaign's attempts to counter the voter fraud spin.[13]

Jude Celestin was the only candidate without a Wikipedia article until the 10th of March, 2011.

"The decision was made after the Obama administration and the Organization of American States pressured Haiti not to include government-backed candidate Jude Celestin in the run-off, although he received more votes than Martelly. OAS claimed that Celestin had benefited from vote rigging and fraud. On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Haiti to personally pressure Haitian President René Préval not to include Celestin in the runoff. But many organizations, including the Congressional Black Caucus, have criticized the Obama administration’s stance. Mark Weisbrot, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said it was a disgrace that, "the richest country in the world has forced one of the poorest to change the results of its presidential election, literally under the threat of starvation." Haiti’s presidential election process has also come under intense criticism in part because candidates of former President Juan-Bertrand Aristide’s Lavalas Party were banned from running." - Democracy Now! - 4 Feb '11


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