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9979: Re: 9973: The Electoral Law was Published in Creole (fwd)

From: Jean Saint-Vil <jafrikayiti@hotmail.com>

Thanks for the clarification Melinda.

You are absolutely right in indicating that the document was made available 
in both Kreyòl and French. However, if the Kreyòl version was ready as early 
as July 1999, then the Haitian government was/is even more ill-equipped 
«kreten» than suspected - as far as inter-Haitian public relations is 

Witnessing that everywhere in the press a french-only Electoral Law was 
being quoted, on July 28, 1999, REKA wrote to President René Préval and to 
Mr. Léon Manus asking these high officials whether such an important 
document was or will soon be available in Kreyòl. After a long period of 
silence, REKA wrote an open letter to President Préval on October 28th 1999. 
  A few weeks later, some better-connected REKA list members whisppered in 
our ears that (rumor has it) a Kreyol translation was by then IN THE WORKS 
and, it only took so long because there was no money to produce it in the 
first place and all kinds of other sorry excuses of the kind...But, of 
course, consistent with the legendary tradition of Haitian governments, 
there never was any response (public or otherwise) to REKA's enquiry.

Indeed, a Kreyol version of the electoral law was eventually published (In 
late April 2000, I saw what was then said to be a fresh-of-the-press copy in 
a Miami bookstore). If it really took the streets for the first time, in 
march or April 2000, was it published on time - considering that election 
day was May 25, 2000? Having arrived so late after the french version (from 
what I understand), did anyone really use it in any meaningful fashion to 
disseminate information about the elections to the Haitian electorate?

Furthermore, if you go to any of the Haitian Government official websites - 
today, you will not find the Kreyòl version of either this document or of 
the Haitian Constitution - let alone any other official document - to the 
exception of a few Kreyòl parts of speeches conducted in Haiti. Only the 
french official documents are posted and, often, you will also find the 
english translation.

Yet, is it not reasonable to suspect that a well publicised Kreyol Electoral 
Law and Constitution could have gone a long way in dimishing the useless 
ramblings that took place over what constitutes the «majority» of votes 
required to be elected Senator of the Republic. Maybe, such important 
matters aren't for Haitians to decide, afterall?

It is pitiful to observe that the Lavalas governments  (including the 
current one) have been so narrowly focussed on negociating their survival 
with their real (non-Haitian) opposition - taking great care to communicate 
with them in their language and functionning according to  their terms, they 
are neglecting almost completely any sort of  intelligent communication with 
the Haitian People. Of course, the nation has been and continues to pay the 
price of its leaders' blindness in this regard.


----Original Message Follows----
From: Bob Corbett <corbetre@webster.edu>
To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
Subject: 9973:  The Electoral Law was Published in Creole (fwd)
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 11:30:11 -0600 (CST)

From: "Melinda Miles, Haiti Reborn" <mmiles76@yahoo.com>

RE: The speed of translations

Saint-Vil noted: "Meanwhile, last year, there
apparently were no time or money available to have the
Electoral Law delivered to Haitian voters in their own

Actually, the Electoral Law for the 2000 elections,
published in July of 1999, was distributed as a
booklet with both French and Creole translations. I
have a copy of it here in my office - it was first
made widely available during voter registration in
March, 2000.

Melinda Miles, Coordinator
Haiti Reborn/Quixote Center

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