tv [untitled] November 26, 2010 7:30am-8:00am EST
getting revenge for centuries of publishing occupation. in the us the dust with most americans not even knowing should the bombs drop the cold war relic sauce slowly disappearing despite the fears of a nuclear attack remaining very. well we'll have more of those stories in about thirty minutes time but up next it's our debate program cross talk with people who fell and this week he talks about the upcoming presidential elections in haiti taking place amid a blistering epidemic of cholera that's coming your way in just a moment. you can.
follow me and welcome in rostock on peter lavelle the search for stability and legitimacy will haitians find either after sunday's elections many question the usefulness of these polls as the country slowly attempts to recover from the january earthquake the spread of cholera the daily violence and voter apathy. continue. to discuss haiti's elections i'm joined by nicholas ross here in new york he's an award winning independent filmmaker in washington we go to ernest pregnancy is chairman of the democracy haiti project and a former u.s. ambassador to haiti also in washington we have it bullet pierre he is the executive director and founder of the institute for research in socio economic and public policy and another member of our cross talk team yell on the hunger gentlemen this program is cross talk that means you can jump in anytime you want to react to what
the another member on the panel has to say if i go to you mr ambassador first i start out by saying the search for stability and legitimacy well the elections on sunday. hit haiti one inch forward in terms of stability and legitimacy. well there are dark clouds over having the elections you mentioned a few of them a minute ago starting with the earthquake and the cholera i should say right up front though that four years ago two thousand and six haiti surprised almost everyone with free fair and open elections when president preval was elected this year will be a lot more difficult lot more political intrigue going on and we have to watch closely what happens this sunday i know pull out if i can go to you what do you think about the elections here i mean there's a lot of people saying that haiti is in no condition whatsoever to whole hold a free and fair election and there's a lot of people are complaining that
a lot of important parties a party that used to back mr era stede that is an exile is not being able to run how legitimate can it be if so many political parties and these are not you know marginal parties that are being excluded how legitimate can any election be i think of the very first thing that we have to watch for on sunday is the. number of people who are going to go and who the percentage of the population that it's going to. plus is there is of course. that some hanging on top of the and it. is going to a council itself because it excluded the largest body of the us body and. a lot of anger about that but i do same time you also have many people who also from the previously from that evidence body like a former prime minister even a chain and others will put the beating in d.c. elections but there seem to be two candidates who really one is
a one that is favored by the current president who is he's name is are insistent and the other one is mrs many guy was the wife of former president of. the many guns and. depending on who many people go to the polls. how strong the electoral feels. then we're going to be able to say we're doing the elections. surprise people because haitians in general tend to surprise people and you may expect something to happen when we and then the electoral. voters themselves decide to go to yodel way so you really never can tell because pollings can say one thing and at a certain point you suppose that something else happens ok nick i'd like to add i didn't understand the concerns ok but i did make a new york here to try in it before i ask you i'd like to show a clip of an interview you did with. the former president and i'd like to you to
kind of comment on it because i think that the era stede personified legacy is still very much part of haitian politics let's listen to what. listen from the former president of haiti haiti mr verity. once we have the condition of haiti now we have it kind of. so they don't want me to be back for my point of view because they still want to buy haiti. very interesting interview and i suggest viewers see the rest of it nic i mean how much in your knowledge of haiti how much is that the former president reflect public opinion in haiti today his words that he just said. well i think many people in the mainstream media keep keep keep basically you know mentioning
his name there's no doubt that he's still a popular figure in haiti's politics. there is he as you know it's in the interview has said that. you know he has been forced to to leave haiti in two thousand and four he's main party from the level of us which is still very popular in haiti has not been allowed to present candidates so there's no dubs right now than going into an election in these next days is not going to be seen as legitimate but that's just one political reality of the reality in haiti as people know there's one point three million people displaced thousands of people hundreds of thousand people have lost things and ideas they ideas actually there are a lot of questions where as you know this election will be a fair free election or you ever see the full participation of haitian people so there's a lot of questions about you know how is the this election it will be seen
a lot of people don't go out on top of those points ok mr ambassador you said you wanted to reply to what nick just said go ahead. well a couple of a couple of points i would not overstate the influence of eristic current election situation his presidency not just according to me but by many haitians was was a failure there was corruption there was political violence there was gross mismanagement the economy and he's in exile in south africa and will remain there his party should be inscribed but not more directly my second point is has a lot more to do with the government and how the how the election will be managed and the critical the biggest political shortcoming this time compared with two thousand and six is that the electoral commission which manages the elections and according to constitution should be independent and balanced as it was in two
thousand and six is not today all the members a hand-picked supporters of prey volved and that's causing a great deal of concern that's why several other. respected opposition leaders are boycotting the presidential election or though some of their members are still running for the parliament so there is this political big political question of how the elections will be managed and whether they'll be biased in favor of prevost candidate. and i stand attention there are a number of examples i could give a kind of jump in and i was i had all this of course made much more going to go ahead and who are we to decide who is haitian leaders have to be in exile or not it's clear that is a significant party in haiti that the national leader is to aristide that a lot of haitian people if not a very significant portion of the haitian population doesn't like what happened in two thousand and four and want him back you know i have i have no stake in it i
don't care about aristide personally i'm sure he made mistakes everybody's aware of it maybe but the fact he was elected and he was forced into exile now who are you to say that he should stay in exile in south africa. mr ambassador was really really i did say that every zero interest in him is that a rhetorical question we're interested in knowing about it i don't know i didn't then you were interested in recalls the nation in haiti no re concierge who have been you don't integrate all their bodies into haiti you know that and i mean a. lot of my response to the question which i assume was not just rhetorical i have a concern because an american taxpayer and in two thousand and four there was a civil war in haiti which was judged to be caused by aras the widespread violence and we were not going to send in any marines or any economic aid unless the civil war ended and that was where the discussions got underway whereby with the u.n.
more or less in the middle arab state agreed to go into exile in south africa ok well if i go to you the other lives i'd like to look at the ramifications of what happened in two thousand and four that died promote democracy in haiti exile and a democratically elected leader was dot promoting democracy in haiti and what is what is that impact what i would like to say you know this whole issue is that the . throne he is history if you look at it very carefully if you just read the history books of haiti we've always had the problem of. political leadership these are ships being overthrew and either by haitians or aided by. from you know like foreign nations or whatever and when you have all due respect to mr ambassador but when you have a political leader who was elected and was forced out of the exile whether or not
you're like especially in the year two thousand for which the year that he was supposed to celebrate his two hundred and verse or three or independence. following the over. we've had. which means which means first of all that we've missed the opportunity as haitians to enjoy two was celebrated our independence from france and having the french of having friendships come to haiti on that very same year that was. like a slap on his face and that's i mean whether or not you were like i received. that's a problem here of respect of the process of addict will process. on the auto in a decision time. believing that. we are going to be able to resolve these issues without thinking also of the strength of the structural problems that we have as
haitians when it comes to our political system when it comes to our institutions we're not really doing any good on the for instance we're talking about elections and possibility for us to be into long term every time we have elections in haiti there's always a very same question the very same issue of where do an ideal actions are going to be fair and you always have some policies that are trying to make sure to undermine the elections and it's also limits to jump in right here start to try to jump in right here after a short break we'll continue our discussion on haiti stay with our.
through the. t.v. experience with nobel prize it so people you know are influenced by the french you are more you that's it structures get microscopic make over and it's funny chip can take us a long way defeat of nato comes into focus. the update here. we've got the future covered. for six months russian capital was in a state of siege. days and nights people lived in fear about deflation and were preparing for the desperate defense intense battles took a heavy toll. that saw me dummy switch to the offensive that was the first sunni or defeat of the where my. battle for moscow monarchy.
welcome back to peter to remind you we're talking about haiti's election. but first let's see what russians think about this issue haitians do go to the polls as the country struggles to recover from january they have a stating earthquake they elect to write one vote for president ten members a problem and while the country continues to grapple with serious social woes and disease soon after the january twelfth earthquake that killed over two hundred thousand people there's a lot of sun asked russians if they would donate to help patients forty five percent of the respondents said they would and the other forty three percent would
not public opinion is split since many are concerned the aid would not reach the recipients. ok nick i'd like to go back to you in new york what is the role that the united nations is playing there right now i mean from what i understand it's about six hundred million dollars a year there on believably unpopular with so many haitians right now expression to top it off of this cholera. outbreak which a lot of people claim that the united nations brought there inadvertently but you know six hundred million dollars a year why can't they just be trained in a police force give infrastructure i mean that's a lot of money for haiti i mean wouldn't it be better serve this left in the money went to some some other purpose a positive purpose because there's long as the u.n. is there really there's no sovereignty in haiti. i mean the u.n. has done great things all over the world that i'm not here to criticize the u.n.
but there is there is this belief among many haitians and i'm sure you know people from. the u.n. has not had a very positive role i mean they've basically put a legal face to an overthrow you can call it for three parts or overthrow coup that you can use many different definitions but what happened in two thousand and four was not there to promote stability in the long term and that's you know that's one reason why i wanted to hear what he had to say because he's still a political player in haiti and exile you know all the political leaders that we don't agree with. to other countries is not going to solve the political situation on the long run in haiti and the u.n. has spent about three billion dollars just the peacekeeping operations these are also u.s. taxpayers money there is millions and millions billions we've poured since than one thousand nine hundred one in haiti the u.s. has poured into haiti and the result now is just not very clear for many people you
know all that money could have been spent in planting bamboo trees in cleaning water from health care as in building roads that's what haiti needs and they don't need the one thousand peacekeeping force haiti is not that such a dangerous dangerous country i'm sure the ambassador can can tell you that it's very very cynical what's going on there and it's very cynical that they want to move forward with elections when they know it's not going to be seen as a legitimate election ok mr ambassador i mean nic nic says and a lot and a lot of people agree with him around the world that the u.n. is just a fig leaf trying to legitimize the illegal overthrow of a democratically elected leader first let me say i really disagree that aras is not a significant factor in these upcoming elections since he left in zero four there's been a first for the first time. there's been a democratic process at least for six years under the interim government promised
a lot of thought to the very good elections in zero six the very questionable and bad not so good elections let me say you know nine and we have a big election coming up this sunday and their opposition candidates and there's the two principal candidates that were mentioned earlier but there are big questions about whether it's going to be free and open or whether the need today the preval party activists are out there subverting the elections so this is where the u.n. comes in the u.n. has been doing a lot of things including together with the organization american states giving the technical support and and other support for the electoral process there's a lot to be criticized about the u.n. it's not an easy body to to manage and put forward what particularly with respect to the elections this sunday my own assessment is that the u.n. and the oas have been bending very much in the direction of saying all these are
basically fair and open elections in support of prey of all in his party whereas we and i'm chairman of the a democracy project we have about eighty. observers electoral observers in country now they'll be out on sunday we're finding it we're getting a lot of reports saying these are not going to be good elections sunday but that it's the u.n. the oas seem to be bending toward giving it a white wash ok if i go to you in washington i mean is the u.n. playing is the u.n. playing a positive role in haiti right now because her if it reports coming out of. people being killed people that sort of don't support the right political priority quote unquote numerous rapes have been required reported i mean this doesn't sound like the blue caps that we blue helmets that we all hear about i mean or maybe we do in africa and things like that but what is the role. i am i am not sure exactly how
positive or negative in matters of its totality do all of the u.n. is in haiti i take the next words as face value because he's done some work on that specifically what i know is that there is a very serious concerns for instance we go to the caller a pretty quick now in haiti and people have demonstrated against the u.n. because many people believe there is a rule him itself from the nepalese. contention that as help spread the the quote i put in you can aid in you know water but if i may return to the sea shoe of could you tell symbol was mr prager likes to call it one thing that i'd like to point out which is to me extremely important if we're talking about stability in haiti we also have to learn to respect to preschool process whether or not we like the person who's running the country if somebody whether he's from the right to live to centro or whatever if that person was elected and that person has
the has to have the opportunity to to finish he's over terms and when the term ends should derby any serious issues with the way the person governed or anything of the like you have to be able to go through some legal process in order to resolve these issues if the person has to go to prison or whatever else you cannot decide on your own that these theories are a good leader or that leader is a good leader would because you will because you can judge for he better and then you come and then you have overthrew a government that's a very in that's a very serious issue with haiti which is cause of the instability which has always been a cause for him to be in a in fact what i like to say when it comes to haiti is that it's a country where any political leader any president always leaves in a in a state once you become preys on the country you are in a permanent campaign state in other words rather than governing the country you're . always have to be strategizing or acting as
a tactician in order to see how you can survive and always groups will always will trying to overthrow you and be a very powerful theme to country and also and they have very good friends and didn't international community can they can rely on to do to help overthrow especially if the government is cruel so to to plow through this does that there's a river in full it is a very good point and i think it's very reasonable as well mr ambassador well how would you reply to that i mean respect the process ok i think that's a key thing right here i mean if even if even if a leader has even if a leader has shortcomings or or is relatively failure in office etc etc shouldn't it be the process of the people to decide that and not outside forces because i think that that taints democracy just a. absolutely it's the process and the people that's why we have to be much more specific about how important this sunday is for example president preval has
lost popularity for a number of reasons the opinion polls show that the principal opposition. candidate mrs smiley guy is ahead of stan in the opinion polls and moving up and if there's a runoff in january there probably will be since neither one will probably get fifty percent it could move further if in fact though come sunday say last stand comes out way ahead in number first position there's going to be a lot of really negative response from the haitian people about the elections not being fair and let me if i might just to be specific just quote two or three sentences from one of our observers that we have great respect for in the southern small city of jacques male and this person says. that the prey of. party unity a party activist are now pressuring the poor people to give them their election
cards for small amount of rice or tent moreover they walk around heavily armed under their under their shirts with guns and they and they have fired the poll station employees and replaced them with members of the unit to a party and this observer and by saying how is it possible for the un the oas to. to accept this and i think this is a very legitimate question. based on my comment before that there are questions being raised about how these elections are being managed by not an independent and balanced electoral commission and with the un and the oas so i have wanted to see it come out favorably because of the admission there you know make a lot of a lot of senate cynics would say and are saying that the the reason why the un is pushing through saying that the these elections i have absolutely have to happen because once a quote unquote
a stable government is there more aid money will come in because a lot of aid money is contingent on having some kind of government in place here is do you think there's. in the works here is that you know it's this is what i call the aid industry they're just waiting to for the trough to be filled up again because they have to have a stable government in haiti. well this whole i mean the very point of they have elections i just think that for practical reasons most observers of observers on the ground say that it's going to be very difficult to want to tiles and soon it was said to have going to get called the color there is a lot of people have lost the idea there's a lot of people displaced one point three. i mean talking about a fair election also you know knowing that an important party i know that from the level i see is not consider an important party for by mr ambassador but it is a significant party and mainstream news sources are going to be going to calm after
the election and they're going to say the same thing that the election was not seen and will not be seen as legitimate john i'm going to read i'm going to have to join in here i'm afraid i'm going to have to jump in we've run out of time many thanks to my guests today in new york and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember cross top feels. he can. still. wealthy british style. markets. find out what's really happening to the global economy for