Emann Joasil: What’s next for President Preval
This is the 3rd piece from my guest writer Emann Joasil. He’s a young Haitian-American out of New Jersey who enjoys writing about his culture and his people’s plight. You can listen to him every Sunday night at 10 PM on www.radyokontak.com follow him on twitter @emannjoasil
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 to satisfy their selfish agendas, I was amongst the many people who were calling 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. As a reminder, these observers were sent to Haiti by the international community for the purpose of monitoring the voting process. So if he was elected, and the choice was made in compliance with the prescriptions outlined in the Constitution, should he 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 weeks 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 to hand the continuity of the nation to one of his cronies. That is why you see inside the Provisory Electoral Council (PEC) 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. These people, handpicked by President Preval, have no sense of credibility to get the people to have faith in the electoral process.
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. 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 tragedy 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 management of the aftermath if we don’t take action to find out. President Preval and his acolytes need to be prosecuted and trialed. What will come out of this legal action is unpredictable. However, if they 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?