by Wadner Pierre
|A woman praying at Sainte Claire's Parish prior to the flawed Presidential and Legislative Nov. 28 Elections in Haiti.Photo by Wadner Pierre|
On top of the hill of Demals 33, Ti Plas Kazo, 15 minutes from the Conseil Electoral Provisoire or CEP (Provisional Electoral Council), formerly headquarter, and 10 minutes from UN compound at the Toussaint International Airport, located Sainte Claire’s Parish. This Parish was the Parish of former Priest and political prisoner of UN backed de facto government 2004-2006, father Gerard Jean-Juste. Father used to pray against the coup d’état –and for the return democratic elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and those who had been murdered, tortured and imprisoned illegally because of their political. On Nov. 26, Sainte Claire’s Parish held a seven-hour prayer to ask God to watch over the upcoming flawed Presidential and Legislatives Elections.
As it always shows in the mainstream, when Haitians refuse to swallow undemocratic elections and demonstrate in the street to demand that democratic elections, the mainstream media in the US, Europe, Haiti, Canada and so, portray them as rioters. The ironic thing is, these media refuse to agree that Haitian people are people of faith…and when the uncertainties come on the way, they use different tools like pacific protestations, religious, including Vodou ceremonies to pray their God to ask for direction. This is what Haitian people are also about. Before the decisive battle to free Haiti from French domination, the former slaves held a Vodou ceremony in North of Haiti, Bois-Caiman to pray and ask their God to assist them.
It must be noticed, churches holding prayers prior to the elections are a new form for people to say “God we don’t know where we are going. We don’t know what to do. Please, help us.” That was why the first time many churches whether Protestant of Catholic holding special prayers for elections. It is obvious that the Nov. 28 elections are bias and fraudulent –if they are not, perhaps, only the CEP, Haitian government and UN can see it. The following statement can only be heard from Edmond Mulet, the representative of the UN-Secretary General in Haiti. “The organization of these elections is is better than the previous years,” said Mullet. Of course, Mr. Mulet used radio Metropole, a right-wring radio in Haiti to make this statement.
In many corners of the Haiti’s capital, Port-Au-Prince many churches holding special prayers prior the controversial elections. “This time things (refer to the elections) are more fragile and uncertain, that’s why we need to pray,” said Mrs. Blan, a parishioner of Sainte Claire when asking why she came to spending her night praying.
The ‘imported ’Cholera outbreak has not killed Haitians, but has also destroyed the Haitian good habits whether at churches or on the streets. People use to embrace each other when wishing peace at the churches, but for the past several Sundays, they forcedly do that to prevent them from infecting by cholera. “Look the person next to you, and said “”Jesus loves you”,” said father Patrick Plaisival who celebrated the mass to close the 7-hour prayer. Father Plaisival also kept reminding people during the mass to be cautious and apply the hygienic rules to avoid catching the cholera. “Brothers and sisters, be careful, watch your hands after using the bathroom – before eating and touching your babies… that’s all you need to do… just do it.”
Father Gerson Charles, the pastor of Sainte Claire’s church who claimed to receive a message to hold these seven-hour prayer while celebrating the mass at Sainte Claire’s altar. “ I received this message when celebrating a mass here at the altar,” pointing his finger in direction of the altar…”the message said do a prayer on the Nov. 26 before the elections,” said Fr. Charles. Father Charles acknowledged cautiously that things are more difficult after the earthquake and the ongoing cholera outbreak. “The bishops share my idea. The church can only pray. My hope is to see things change in the country. I hope people do the best choice,” implied fr. Charles.
One thing Fr. Charles failed to say is that the same church refused to offer its support to democratic elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the early 2000 until 2004, needless to say to help him to return to his country. The other things the Fr. Charles may not quietly understand is that, the majority of people have no preferred Presidential and Legislative candidates since the exclusion of Fanmi Lavalas, Haiti’s largest the political party, or the party of the majority.
From the organizational structure to distribution the IDs to people and to journalist to cover the poll; this electoral process has irregularities in its all structural body. Voters do not know exactly where to go to vote. The CEP sent message text in which there is a number that voters can call to figure out their poll station. Still this method does not work because when calling this number it is always busy.
While churches praying for the elections, many people argued that the elections have been done, is the way to say they have been sold. The CEP was appointed by President Preval – and Mr. Preval closest friend, member of his party, Jude Celestin is in the race. Critics said that Mr. Preval use the states resources to back up presidential candidate Celestin’s campaign. After the Nov. 28 Elections/Slections, Haitian will continue to struggle for Social Justice even it may remain fragile with the UN occupying force in Haiti’s soil.
Meanwhile, United States, France Canada or the International Community continue to show its real face which is: sponsored and financed coup d’état and undemocratic, unfair, fraudulent and non-free elections in Haiti like in Honduras and other parts in the World.