As elections approach for twelve senate seats in the Haitian Senate the
Fanmi Lavalas (FL) party (the electoral vehicle of the Lavalas movement) has
divided into two factions. One is headed by former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune,
Annette Auguste (aka So Ann), and former parliamentarian, Yves Crystallin.
Both Neptune and Auguste were prominent political prisoners of the UN installed
regime of Gerard Latortue. The other FL faction is directed by Senator Rudy
Herivaux and a former Arisride spokeswoman, Maryse Narcisse. Both factions
sent lists to the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).
The CEP must decide which faction has the better claim to represent FL in
the elections. The Neptune-Auguste faction is confident that the CEP will rule
in their favor after examining the founding FL documents in which their
members are more prominent. However, adding to the confusion, both factions
recognize Aristide as the leader of FL, and their electoral lists include some of
the same candidates.
One FL candidates, Nahoum Marcellus, has expressed a widely held desire
among FL supporters: “ It is Aristide himself who has to intervene to resolve
this dispute.( source,www.Haitiliberte.com)” Aristide has intervened, according to a report in Haiti Liberte
by Kim Ives. However, Aristide has reportedly done so discretely through
telephone calls to the members of both factions. He has probably avoided public
pronouncements due to his precarious situation in South Africa where he lives in
exile since the US orchestrated coup that deposed him in 2004.
Lavalas opponents have openly enjoyed the spectacle of an internal feud.
Others have gone on the attack.
The National Network of Defense Human Rights, (RNDDH),” a vehemently
anti-Lavalas “human rights group“ that has been funded by both the Canadian and US
governments, has recently gone on the offensive. In a February 3 press
release RNDDH implored Haitians not to “transform the Senate in to a haven for
bandits”.  The press release, which rehashed thoroughly discredited claims
about a “massacre” of “La Scierie”, was clearly aimed at the Lavalas movement,
though it did also denounce some Lavalas opponents such as Guy Philippe in an
apparent attempt to look impartial. RNDDH was formerly known as the
National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR). The name change was made in 2005 at
the request of its New York associates who wished to distance themselves from
its work after the 2004 coup. Even UN officials have publicly criticized
flagrant partisanship and unsubstantiated allegations of RNDDH.
Lavalas supporters may well ask “what does Fanmi Lavalas stand for?” Does
it stand for people, or for seats in the Haitian Senate? What should Aristide
do to end the internal dispute? The Fanmi Lavalas party is clearly
struggling against itself.
Its supporters would, no doub,t like FL leaders to remember the party motto “
Alone, we are weak, together, we are strong, together, together, we are
By: Wadner Pierre