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#2069: Election officials must not allow afew to hold Haiti's Future Hostage (fwd)


Election officials must not allow afew to hold Haiti's Future Hostage

  As voter registration begins this week in Haiti, the idea for
first-round of  elections in Haiti needs to become a reality. Elections
are not going to  solve HaitiÕs long list of problems, but anything that
might get in the  way needs to be resolved firmly and decisively.      A
lot is riding on those elections, including millions of dollars that
could go to help with education, health care, that have been tied up in
financial institutions overseas until a parliament is elected. Also,
many people, and many countries, have invested a lot of work, and faith,
in those elections. If those elections were not to take place, those
people, Haitian Americans and friends of Haiti, might never recover from
the disappointment.  The price of losing those people might be too high
for Haiti. But, this is exactly what might happen if the government
doesnÕt do something  now about a few situations. They need to resolve
immediately the  problem thatÕs been plaguing the Department de la
Grande Anse, where they let a problem with registration and leadership
simmer over several months. Government negotiators ought to go there and
not leave  until that problem is resolved.  Now we hear that mobs
prevented the delivery of voter registration materials in Grand Goave
and torched a senatorÕs office. Shooting into the air, the mob set up a
barricade of flaming tires in front of the election  office, beat a
security guard and forced the driver of the car to return to  the
capital. The incident followed weeks of tension between rival       
political groups. Election officials must do its best to peacefully
negotiate some kind of understanding between those groups.  But in case
that doesnÕt work, it ought to act decisively to put an end  to this
charade. They should not let a few malcontents hold the process, and the
future of Haiti, hostage.