February 21

Mirlande Hyppolite Manigat will resign as senator even if she is elected. This is what she said yesterday. Manigat, who says she made the decision after giving it much thought, gives as a reason her desire to show solidarity with her husband and her refusal to support the blatant violation of the constitution and the electoral decree by the manipulation of the way the results of the presidential elections were calculated. The following is a report by Charles Hubert Zamor:

Unbelievable but true: As reports were circulating behind the scenes of the Assembly of National Progressive Democrats (RDNP), Manigat gave up the electoral race in spite of her good score following the publication of the first partial results of the legislative elections by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).

The deputy secretary-general of the RDNP, who says she gave it a lot of thought before making this decision, gives two major reasons to explain it. The first is to follow her husband and leader. The second is her refusal to support what she calls the blatant violation of both the constitution and the electoral decree in manipulating the methods used to calculate the results of the February 7 presidential elections.

(Manigat) I am a member of a political party. We nevertheless had to consult the members. I took the opinions of a few people. Some people who did not agree with me originally eventually joined my position. Other people made suggestions to me. This was not an easy decision. Why did I make it? I already said that: first, it is a question of principle and solidarity with Leslie Manigat. I have criticized the mode of calculation. Watch out! The people must understand well. They must understand Leslie Manigat’s position well. It has to do with the way the votes were calculated. He always repeated this. He told everybody in the national and international press that if somebody gets 50 percent plus one, he would not have any problems and would admit defeat. Similarly, if somebody gets less than 50 percent plus one, he must go to the runoffs. This was a very simple position.

(Zamor) This decision is irreversible. It is required by the situation, according to Mrs Manigat, who addressed the people, in particular the young academics who voted for her. The professor of constitutional law who says she understands the disappointment and the frustration of those who voted for her, and who suggested that she reverse her decision, says she categorically refuses to do so.

(Manigat) All I can say, I understand the disappointment; I understand first the surprise, the disappointment, the frustration, I understand. I also understand the criticisms. I am just asking them to do me the honor and give me the satisfaction of understanding my position, which is a position of a legalist. I cannot support illegality.

(Zamor) In spite of this abdication, the party will continue to conduct activities in the political arena, according to Mrs Manigat.

(Manigat) I am still in Haiti. I am still working. I am still strongly involved in the party’s activities. I am insisting on the fact that the party has issued a recommendation. It does not require anything. It just makes a recommendation. The party will continue to operate. We are still politically active.

(Zamor) With 313,204 votes, Manigat was the second-place candidate in the race to occupy the seat of representative of the Department of the West in the Senate of the republic. The constitutionalist has withdrawn from the race less than a week after the news conference in which her husband announced his refusal to accept the clever trick of arithmetic that ended up in the election of Rene Garcia Preval as president in the first round.