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#665: Manno Charlemagne : Chamberlain comments (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
Let's not shed too many tears for ex-PauP mayor Manno Charlemagne.
His rule was sadly straight out of a movie. He was put up for mayor in
1995 by Aristide as a way of killing off the political career of mayor
Evans Paul, once seen as Aristide's successor. Manno was a loose cannon,
but the risk had to be taken because it was certain that (as in a lot of
other countries) a popular show business figure could be guaranteed
Once in office, all the usual Macoute-style violence and corruption began
and in fact Aristide "lost control" of him and Manno publicly turned
against him. Manno assembled a private militia and refused government
orders to disband it. His two deputy mayors were locked out of city hall
for several years and there were public appeals for the government to
remove him. This was finally done last January 25. He was replaced by
Yves Gaspard and the two deputy mayors were restored to their posts.
He did indeed clear a few shacks and some rubbish (read: the livelihoods of
the desperately poor) from the streets, but that's the easy,
visually-impressive part of government. After all, Mussolini made the
trains run on time...
In his early days as mayor, he took up residence in one of the big hotels
and held court like an emperor, with all the little people and others who
wanted jobs and favours having to pass through an intimidating phalanx of
white guests to get to Manno. He moved out of the hotel a few months
later, refusing to pay a cent of his enormous bill.
Showbiz people in politics -- not many examples in this world of it turning