In the first two paragraphs, Guichard Doré says that Haiti has gone through two and a half years of incoherent governance without any sense of direction. He cites the disasters that have befallen the mass of the people. Compared to the transition run by Gérard Latortue in 2004-6, the government has done nothing. Instead, it has yielded “deux ans et demi de mutisme, d’absence de vision affichée et de nonexécution de projets économiques et sociaux aboutissant au chaos national.”
In the next section, “Renoncer à des pratiques qui fragilisent la démocratie,” Doré gives a masterly synthesis of the political class’s habit of assailing elections that did not favor them:
Depuis 1986, certains acteurs politiques développent et mettent en œuvre des stratégies intra-institutionnelles et extrainstitutionnelles pour empêcher l’organisation des élections. Toutes les équipes gouvernementales ont fait face aux réticences et suspicions entourant la question électorale parce que certains acteurs politiques ne voient pas dans les élections la voie royale pour conquérir le pouvoir et le moyen donnant la légitimité populaire pour exercer le pouvoir démocratiquement. Ils veulent avoir le pouvoir dans les conclaves politiques soigneusement concoctées.
And Doré adds, “Toutes les crises politiques qu’a connues Haïti au cours de cette longue ‘transition qui n’en finit pas’ ont eu peu ou prou une origine électorale . . . “ As he describes the mindset, perfectly capturing the psychology, anyone who has lived through the train of electoral crises suffered by Haiti sees them flashing before the eyes:
• 2000. Throwing out a million votes for opposition senatorial candidates in order to gain a super-majority in the senate for a constitutional amendment perpetuating Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s hold on the presidency
• 2006. After Haiti’s most democratic election in history, falsely crying fraud in order to avoid a constitutionally-mandated second round
• 2010. Secretly pushing the electoral commission to reintroduce enough ballots discarded for fraud to change the outcome in favor of the government’s presidential candidate.
• 2015. Ignoring the provision in the 2012 constitution requiring that a presidential candidate who obtains more than 25 percent more votes than the runner-up be declared the victor on  the first round. (Revealed here for the first time.)
• 2016. Entirely throwing out the results of the 2015 presidential election despite its having been free, fair, and accurately counted
• 2020-21. Falsely claiming that the incumbent president’s term was only four years instead of the constitutional five. Watch for this to be the pretext for the assassination.
• 2021. An attempted coup seeking to place a supreme-court justice in the presidency when justices’ accession had been abolished in the 2012 constitution
• 2022- to present. Falsely claiming the prime minister’s tenure is illegal when the constitution provides that in the case of death of the president, the prime minister remains until the next elections.
In this recitation of the abuses enumerated here by the Haiti Democracy Project, it will be noticed that four of them involved disregard of the constitution rather than electoral fraud. It reminds one of Henry Kissinger’s dictum: “The illegal we can do right away. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”
Having succinctly defined the problem of electoral malfeasance by the political actors, Doré segues back to the current episode which he brilliantly encapsulates as “Des cycles de négociation pour faire passer le temps.”
Pourparlers entre le pouvoir et l’opposition dont l’objectif principal n’était pas de sortir rapidement de la transition mais de faire durer aussi longtemps que possible la transition.
The sum total is “le plus grand recul démocratique que connait Haïti depuis 1986,” which is saying something. “Depuis le départ de Duvalier en 1986, c’est la première fois qu’un gouvernement de transition a passé trente mois au pouvoir sans déployer aucun effort pour mettre en place un Conseil Électoral Provisoire.” As for the opposition, its semantic games reached the point that it “devient un allié temporel d’Ariel Henry” in wasting time, hoping that the foreigners would place it in charge of the transition.
We pass now to Duré’s brilliant summation, “Constater l’échec des négociations et donner la parole au peuple.”  Verily, “Au cours des trente derniers mois, le Premier ministre Ariel Henry n’a pas organisé les élections et la tenue des élections n’était pas la demande centrale de l’opposition.” And here, Doré introduces the most contrarian and unexpected finding of his whole paper: that the electoral process would actually help in suppressing the violence of the gangs.
Il faut dire stop car, le processus électoral et les efforts pour résoudre les problèmes de sécurité doivent se faire en même temps. L’environnement sécuritaire sera amélioré au fur et à mesure que nous avançons dans le processus électoral.
This reverses the usual order. In 2004, it was felt that the U.N. mission should first restore peace in order to make elections possible, which it did. Doré may be right. But he has more work to do in explaining how elections could be held under such conditions. Would election preparations work to tamp down the violence, or would they merely become another target of it? The Haiti Democracy Project’s nine electoral missions have seen enough violence to make us worry about the vulnerability to the gangs.
And this brings us to the primary disconnect or omission in Doré’s analysis. He does not mention the coming of the U.N. mission and its potential contribution to resolving the problems he enumerates. Contrast this to the International Crisis Group’s new report that thoroughly probes the impact of the mission on the gangs and closely analyzes the inertness of the political class, although without Doré’s psychological insights which may only be visible to a Haitian eye.
His central finding remains valid: Haiti’s ills are the result of intriguers meeting interminably behind closed doors. Have an election and let those decisions be made by the action of the voters at the polls.