Singer Michel Martelly is sworn in as Haiti’s president-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

Michel Martelly

Haiti’s new president, Michel Martelly, stands with his wife, Sophia, and their children as the Haitian national anthem is played in Port-au-Prince. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press / May 14, 2011)

Martelly speaks in front of the crumpled National Palace, a symbol of a broken country ravaged by an earthquake last year and perpetually suffering from high rates of illiteracy and unemployment.

By Allyn Gaestel, Los Angeles TimesMay 15, 2011

Reporting from Port-au-Prince, Haiti—

Former singer Michel Martelly was sworn in Saturday as Haiti’s new president, promising change in a country whose towering needs will soon test his ability to shift from political outsider to national leader.

Martelly, elected in March by a commanding margin, spoke in front of a powerful symbol of the work ahead: the National Palace, crumpled like many other buildings in last year’s devastating earthquake.

In his first remarks as president, Martelly summoned some of the same passion that fueled his campaign, his first foray into electoral politics.

“Haiti has been sleeping,” Martelly said. “Today she will wake up, stand up.”

Martelly, 50, reaffirmed a campaign vow to provide free education to the widely illiterate population. And while noting the need for security, his voice rose almost to a shout as he swore to bring to justice anyone who brought disorder to the country.

Martelly emphasized the need for a secure environment to lure investors and create jobs, a central issue in a country where unemployment is endemic.

The ceremony and setting were an attempt to set a new tone for a nation struggling to recover from the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake and, months later, a cholera epidemic.

A massive stage was constructed in front of the snow-white palace. Photographs of Haitian landmarks dotted a backdrop that had in its center a pre-quake image of the once-gleaming presidential residence.

But jutting above the backdrop was the real building, collapsed, with its white domes dipping precariously forward. Nearby, a plaza remained crammed with tents sheltering thousands of people left homeless after the quake.

Groups had taken to the streets with brooms all week, sweeping up garbage. Nonetheless, onlookers had to sidestep big potholes and piles of rubble.

Outgoing President Rene Preval handed over the presidential sash in the morning. The swearing-in took place in the makeshift parliament building, but a power outage forced Martelly to take the oath of office in darkness.

Numerous national and foreign officials turned up for the occasion, including former President Clinton and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe.

Seeking a measure of conciliation in a country with a long history of polarization and turmoil, Martelly invited two former presidents who returned to Haiti this year: former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier and Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Neither attended.

Haitians climbed flagpoles outside the parliament building and pressed against the palace gates to get a glimpse of their new president.

“He comes from God. All Haitians are walking with him,” said Charles Lufret, 39 and unemployed, who watched the ceremony from the tent-crammed plaza outside the palace.

“The name of president follows him, from music to the palace,” Lufret explained. He was referring to Martelly’s former career as a popular kompa singer.

Bernice Robertson, a Haiti-based analyst for International Crisis Group, said Martelly assumed office “on a wave of optimism,” but she warned of the many challenges ahead.

“He will need to speed up the decision-making process, build national consensus and support, and work with donors and other partners to ensure the resources needed to implement the decisions taken are available.”

He won two-thirds of the vote in the March 20 runoff election, but turnout was low. Some Haitians have reservations about Martelly’s capacity to lead.

“It is total blindness.… We know him as a music star, we don’t know him in terms of governance or taking charge,” said one businessman who requested anonymity.

Gaestel is a special correspondent.



One again the Media damns with faint Praise.

Martelly won, but there weren’t many voters….

In actual fact, the percentage turn out – for the Martelly win – was higher than previous votes, such as Aristide “overwhelming victory” in 2000 when some say only 20,000 turned out. Yes, you heard me right – 20,000!!

That was after he stole the parliamentary vote and the world community refused to watch the presidential ballot, later in the year. Aristide tried to have the President of the CEP killed when he refused to validate the fraudulent ballot. CEP head, Manus, fled to the States where he remains.

Let’s give Martelly his due. He won a big election, against overwhelming odds, as the world community tried to force selection of the unpopular Mirland Manigat, with a real popularity of about 4.5%…yes, that is four point five percent!!

And the turn out was in the high 20 percents…

Preval’s first landslide victory – in 1995 – saw something like 5% YES, THAT IS FIVE PERCENT – TURNOUT.

I would not have voted for Martelly, in the first round. However, there was no other choice, in the second. Mirlande Manigat is a disaster.

Perhaps Fate has give Haiti what it really needs.

Martelly loves the people.

The people love Martelly.

Not a bad formula for a positive government.

Couldn’t be worse than Preval or, for that matter, Aristide.


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3 thoughts on “Singer Michel Martelly is sworn in as Haiti’s president-Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

  1. We are all invited to bring our potential support to the new government in order to set up a real change in Haiti.We are not going to do some effort to sustain the president because we are part of his movement, but,we are going to empower Haiti and our people.We have a responsability to teach, to train, to skill, to share what we know with our people, our citizens in Haiti.WE are really concerned about their future.

    We are all touched by the presdident’s speech.There is no excuse to do not try, to do not start doing some effort to sustain him.He was so clear, so simple, so direct,thus,eventhough the economic situation is though, but, in fact, this is the time to bring the real change that everyone wishes to Haiti.

    Only one thing we request from the authorities in this new government of Haiti is to bring safety and security all over the country and we will do the rest.We have money to invest.We expect that President Martelly will change the fiscal system in Haiti, because the corruption level is to high.Because he mentions that , we feel encouraged.He needs to sign a contract with the US to establish the structure and all the facilities and necessary materials to get the system ferforming as it is up here. Everyone must pay taxes. It is possible.

    With the solar energy system all over Haiti, we can install the equipment in all business facilities to collect the taxes as it is doing in the US business automatically.All the roads must controlled at certain points as it is in the US” Toll Pay System”. We can not afford to build roads without able to take care of them.Haiti is opened to business,said the new president.If so, let start doing business in the right way. As freedom principle,” freedom is not free, Economic developpment is not a gift.We need to put order in the country first, and then, investors will be motivated to bring investment in Haiti to make profits.

    Haiti is an open market, but, we need to structure it.Free school system itself is a very big market.It will not gratis in fact, when you consider the benefits that will bring to the economic development of the country in the near future. We need to encourage the government to do so.Each Haitian must go back to school.We can not stop to learn. The new system never stops to run.Technology is dynamic,as language, tools,computer system,medical technology, agricultural technology,storage, distribution and so on,the world is not stable. So money is necessary but planning,structure,vision, leadership, budgeting,cooporation,business design,shareholding,cooperatives and working together are the basic of the success in the new world order today.

    Let start moving the Mountain of blockage over Haiti. Stop thinking negatively against the new government.Let’s put together our efforts to challenge the situation we are facing in Haiti. Today is the time to act.We all know what must be done. Let do it!

  2. Bernice Robertson,i understand your point of view,the new president may be face a lot of challenges, if so ,he will not be alone,we the haitien Diapora will do whatever it takes to help him bring the country back to normal,and we will make sure ,that the dream he has for Haiti will become successful.

  3. Sorry, my friend, I am not Rey.But, because I am so engaged, I can not reveal my real name.However, I will do my best to stick up Haiti by any means.

    I am so interested to change Haiti,I think that, Micky is at the right place at the right moment to facilitate my task.we will use the president as a tool just to sign the legal documents to allow us to find the way to establish the salvage system to develop Haiti.

    The president is sincere. We can not loose the chance to save Haiti.God uses the right man to bless Haiti.Everyone must see the fact.There is a reason for every thing.

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