The Haiti Democracy Project is concerned by Sen. Carl Murat Cantave’s interviews in Port-au-Prince discounting the possibility of timely elections. The interviews come right after his participation in our Tenth Senatorial Delegation in Washington during March 5-8. He even alluded to that visit in one comment, saying he had explained to members of the U.S. Congress the things that had to happen before there could be elections. In fact, he said very little about delays to the elections while in Washington and put his emphasis on the components of a dialogue he is proposing. None of his American interlocutors agreed that elections would have to be delayed.
Of course, one can be factually skeptical that Haiti will hold elections on time; it never does. The point is to lend one’s moral authority to a concerted effort for timeliness nevertheless. That’s not how the senator’s remarks come off. He is so forcefully disparaging the possibility of timeliness as to discourage the needed effort to achieve it. His negative remarks came right after the prime minister announced they would be held on time and the State Department urged so.
The Haiti Democracy Project’s delegates are of course free to express themselves as they wish. We, however, would not be a democracy organization if we did not advocate elections and on time. The only exception would be if they were sure to be fraudulent.