Thursday, February 16, 2006

Preval Declared President of Haiti

UN officials apparently gave up on their half-baked argument that the ballot fraud in Haiti was just a faux fraud perpetrated by Preval supporters.

Rene Preval has just been declared president after election officials finally agreed that blank ballots would not be included in the vote tabulation. This raised Preval's percentage of the vote to 51.15% and obviated the need for a run-off vote. This is good news on the surface of it, though I can't help but wonder what sort of negotiations led to this result.

I hope Preval didn't compromise too much, though he may not have had to. It should have been obvious to election officials and Preval's opposition that a run-off vote would have produced no different an outcome than what first round voting should have produced. Preval likely was persuasive in this argument and Haitian election officials backed down from forcing a second round vote.

But the recent experiments in democracy in Haiti have been nothing if not troubled, yet I would hope that the Bush administration will let democracy run its course and choose to realise that meddling in Haiti's affairs and subverting election results when those results turn out to be less than desired is a no-win situation. Of course, no-win situations have never been anything the Bush administration tries to avoid, so such hope is likely entirely misguided.

Given what is at stake in Haiti, I have never understood just why various administrations have seen it necessary to "direct" Haitian affairs. As weak as Haiti is, perhaps the meddling occurs simply because it can, a sort of foreign policy entropy. Meddling increases, boundless, over time.

But unlike here in the United States, the Haitian people appear completely unwilling to vote against their economic interests and as long as that is true, US tampering in Haitian affairs will never result in a government the Bush administration would like to see there.

To which all I can say is, Cheers, Haiti! Though luck will have little affect on Haiti's future, I wish them good luck, anyway.


Blogger a.c. said...

"Given what is at stake in Haiti, I have never understood just why various administrations have seen it necessary to "direct" Haitian affairs."

Check out Paul Farmer's The Uses of Haiti, now in its third edition from Common Courage Press.

2:58 PM  

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