Martelly – Lamothe, the right team for Haiti

By Adma Riché,

Haii Hebdo

The main objective of any political party or organization is to take power and occupy posts at all levels. Once a party reaches that goal, it is customary that the losing party or parties align themselves in opposition to the ruling party.

In democracies like that of the United States or France, it is no different than what we are currently seeing in Haiti. The only difference is the opposition in those countries does not call on their leaders to step down or the uprooting of their government by any possible means. In Haiti, political leaders will evoke any reasons, legitimate or not, to call for a sitting President to step down. A few years ago, a sitting President allowed thugs to run the streets with complete immunity from prosecution. They were well equipped, armed and even protected by the regime. Anarchy reigns and there were glimpses or even signs of a return to totalitarian systems of the past. The Haitian people rebelled against these acts and promptly asked for the departure of the government.

Under the current administration, the opposition has tried its best to paint the same picture and draw the same conclusion. Some leaders went as far as offering themselves as sacrificial lambs to turn themselves into victims or political prisoners but to no avail. We recall leaders who refuse police orders to search their vehicles, those who drive right through customs checkpoints refusing customs agent’s orders to stop and the list goes on.

The next French presidential election is scheduled for April and May 2017. Leaders of opposition parties are jockeying for position to deny Francois Hollande of a second term. Former Minister of Health and Labor Xavier Bertrand of the MP and Sarkozy’s former Prime Minister Francois Fillon have already thrown their hats in the ring. Perennial candidate Marine Le Pen and even former President Nicolas Sarkozy are said to join the list.

In the United States, the Republican Party has yet to heal from their defeat at the polls in consecutive presidential elections. As they still try to identify a viable leadership, names like Congressmen Rand Paul and Paul Ryan are high on the list of opposition to Hillary Clinton in the upcoming elections.  Chris Christie, the popular republican governor of democratic New Jersey is seen as the best centrist to face the Democrats. Even popular democrat Hillary Clinton may not be spared of a challenge from fellow democrats including current Vice President Joe Biden.

These two case scenarios in two different countries highlight the right way to take or come back to power. They should also serve as lesson to our own political leaders. They are afraid of going to elections and they have every reason to be.

In recent weeks, it has become more and more clear that their calls for rebellion against the Martelly-Lamothe administration have fallen on deaf ears. All attempts to reach a consensus among opposition leaders have failed miserably. Even the powerful Lavalas party of Former President Aristide seems to have seen its better days as its leaders are engaged in positioning fights.

They don’t want presidential elections fearing that the Haitian people might want to continue the path of modernization and development introduced by the current government.

The Haitian people may want to stay the course by fear that another administration may stop progress in the tourism industry bringing to a halt the ambitious development currently under way in Ile a Vaches. A project which is sure to generate thousands of permanent jobs and bring much needed revenue to the cash strapped economy.

Under this administration agricultural productions are on the rise. Cereal production increased by 52% compared to 2012, including rice, which rose from 44,000 hectares last year to 50,000 hectares in 2013, or rice which went from 147 599 tons produced in 2012 to 158,000 tons in 2013. Production of husked rice went from 81,179, to 95,606 tons at the end of 2013, an increase of 18%.

In 2013, security has improved tremendously in the country. Under the guidance of the Martelly – Lamothe team, Haiti’s National Police has been able to dismantle the largest organized crime networks in the country including destruction of an embryo of bandits in the area of Petit-Goave. They have taken control lawless areas and increased police presence. 2013 also saw creation of the Tourism Police Force (POLITOUR) to guarantee safety and security of our visitors and Haitian nationals visiting their homeland.

Last year, tourism has seen a boost like never before. In January, the Ministry of Tourism signed an agreement with the Canadian Operator Transat to launch an all-inclusive package for 7 days in Haiti. In March, the World Economic Forum ranked Haiti among the 140 largest tourist competitors in the world. Welcome areas were built at popular tourist sites such as the Citadel, Gelee and Raymond-les-Bains beaches and Saut Mathurine. In August, the GOVERNMENT officially launched infrastructure works on the island of Ile à Vaches. This ambitious project includes the construction of 15 kilometers of road, the construction of an international airport and supply of drinking water to the island.

The last couple of years under this administration may not have been perfect. There were faux-pas and maybe some political mistakes. But an objective look at what has been accomplished leaves the average observer impressed with the direction the country has taken under this administration.

It’s time we divorce with the idea of Presidents and governments coming to power with no clear agenda and objective.

To the opposition I say, draft clear objectives for the country, sell your ideas to the voters and let the chips fall where they may in 2016.


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