PORT-AU-PRINCE — Campaigning for Haiti's presidential runoff election kicked off Friday, though it appears there is only one candidate who will actively participate.
Government-backed contender Jovenel Moise, a little-known agricultural entrepreneur who led a crowded field of 54 candidates with nearly 33 percent of the vote in the Oct. 25 first round, attracted roughly 1,500 people to his first rally Friday evening. Big speakers pumped out bass-heavy songs featuring his campaign moniker, "Neg Bannann'' — Banana Man in Haitian Creole — and a group of women wore yellow banana costumes.
SANTO DOMINGO — Cresnel Ceus no longer lives in the shadows. For the first time in 15 years, the Haitian migrant can move about this country without fear of being detained at any moment. He can get a formal job and perform such routine acts as opening his own bank account and getting his own phone.
Perhaps most important to Ceus, he can pack up his fruit stall and take his two children across the border to his native Haiti for the first time in their lives without the fear that he won't be allowed to return to the Dominican Republic.
PORT-AU-PRINCE— A commission probing Haiti's disputed presidential election reported Sunday that a first-round vote was plagued by irregularities, but indicated a final run-off can take place as scheduled in two weeks.
The report says the Oct. 25 contest between 54 candidates was "stained by irregularities,'' in which poll watchers intervened to help several candidates, whom it doesn't name. It recommends possible legal action against poll workers and others involved.
PORT-AU-PRINCE—A decision to postpone a presidential runoff in Haiti could help the leading candidate address what may be his greatest liability: Most voters know hardly anything about him.
Ads for Jovenel Moise have blanketed Haitian TV and radio for weeks and he has held rallies across the country. Social media users have been bombarded with campaign pitches and slick images of him working at a banana exporting venture or decorating a Christmas tree with his family.
Yet few feel they know the political newcomer, a businessman who had never run for office until he was hand-picked by outgoing President Michel Martelly.
PORT-AU-PRINCE— President Michel Martelly is defending much-criticized elections in divided Haiti and asserts that the opposition has spread unsubstantiated allegations about widespread electoral fraud purely to strengthen its position.
During an interview with The Associated Press, Martelly said he believed that disputed official results showing the government-backed candidate topped October's first round presidential vote was a genuine reflection of voters' will.
Haitian authorities on Monday postponed presidential and legislative runoffs set for this weekend, saying they needed to wait for recommendations from a special commission tasked with evaluating the country's widely criticized electoral process.
In a brief statement, Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council said the runoffs scheduled for Dec. 27 were postponed until further notice. They did not provide a new election date. Council spokesman Roudy Stanley Penn said a new date will be announced once a commission created by presidential decree has concluded its work.
Haiti’s President, Michel Martelly, is reaching a crossroads with his relationship with Haitians at home and in the diaspora, as well as with the United States government. As the evidence of fraud and other irregularities in Haiti’s elections mount, Haitians are taking to the streets, the airwaves, the pulpit and the internet to insist on the elections that Haitian voters deserve. The United States government has nevertheless continued to support President Martelly, but it cannot forever ignore the hard truths of problems with the elections and Haitians’ outrage.
Advocates raise alarm over higher income thresholds in Dot, Mattapan
Mayor Martin Walsh will sign an executive order today that will create a new tri-tiered system to build and fund new units of affordable housing in the city of Boston.
The mayor and his policy advisors briefed reporters Tuesday on the revision of the city’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), which has helped to create thousands of affordable units of housing since 2000.
The new iteration of the IDP – which will go into effect on New Year’s Day – mandates that developers of housing with 10 or more units set aside a percentage of those units for low or moderate-income residents – or “cash-out” by paying into a citywide fund that subsidizes low- and moderate-income housing projects.
The Mattahunt Wheelock Partnership is expanding its cross-sector collaborative partnership for Haitian parent engagement to provide Haitian parents with the tools and the resources needed to become effective, vocal advocates for their children in Mattapan. This initiative is built on the success of the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC)'s English for New Bostonians program and uses a comprehensive family-centered approach to replicate that successful effort to the Haitian immigrant population in the Mattapan area.
PORT-AU-PRINCE— A young man stands on a busy street corner in the Haitian capital wearing the campaign logo of one presidential candidate on his sweat-soaked T-shirt, the name of another emblazoned on his sunglasses while he passes out flyers on behalf of a third.
Jeanty Masier makes no pretense of actually caring about any of the candidates competing in Sunday's first round of presidential elections, but he's happy to support any of them — for a price.