This is the first time since 1987 that an election campaign is being conducted without being boycotted by any sector. Supporters of the fallen regime are taking part, just like the former rebels. The Lavalas people are therefore going to try to come to power again and should take part this time with adversaries, such as those of the National Reconstruction Front (FRN). Another particularity of this campaign is the presence of candidates representing the economic elite. The political party candidates who are carrying the people’s hopes have all declared that they have answers to the dreams and aspirations of the Haitians, whatever their social class. The presence of these candidates has given rise to lots of reactions in the traditional sector of national political life.
This year’s campaign facilitates, for the first time, the return of the former Duvalierists on to the political scene. The return in force of the former barons of Baby Doc (former President Jean-Claude Duvalier) is marked by the presence of three parties and political movements: the Union for National Reconciliation (URN), the Patriotic Camp and Haitian Alliance Party (Pacapalah), and the Union of Progressive Haitian Nationalists (U.N.ITE).
The 2005 campaign is also special in the sense that it has given a chance to the other cities of the country. The Department of Artibonite carries the regionality palm in this campaign because it is the home of a national party, the Christian Movement for a New Haiti (Mochrenha) of Luc Mesadieux, and another regional party, Artibonite in Action, of Youri Latortue (nephew of Prime Minister Latortue).
This campaign will be held for the first time with visible neutrality by the government team. The head of government has warned public administration employees against any attempt to use state resources in favour of political parties.
So far, observers have not showed any evidence that would reveal the government’s support for any political party.
This important step in the electoral process is also marked by the uncertainty that hangs over certain candidates who apparently have dual citizenship. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has not yet spoken the last word. Some candidates who were authorized to take part in the elections saw their names taken off the list a few days before the elections, while some others who were rejected are still awaiting the court’s decision.
Unquestionably, the main particularity of this electoral campaign is the deterioration of in security. Neighborhoods that used to be easier to conquer financially are now seen as real powder kegs. The candidates have got to go everywhere, but there are places that they cannot go. The insecurity phobia, or the security obsession, will definitely determine the places that the candidates can go, as well as the strategy that should be used to get from one place to another.
This campaign looks like a big scene in which the priority issues of the nation will be debated, such as whether or not the Haitian Armed Forces should be resurrected, the resolution of the insecurity issue, the reform of the education system, food security through the revitalization of agriculture, economic revival, and so on.
It is a special campaign, with more than 1,000 candidates for about 100 posts. And these elections will put an end to the transition and open the way to political stability, stability that seems to be a dream.