Wyclef Jean's Disqualification Signals Haiti Diaspora not Welcome in Politics

The disqualification of Wyclef Jean and all the other candidates from the Haitian diaspora who sought to run in the country's presidential election has led to allegations that the domestic political elite is manipulating the country's election commission to freeze out strong challengers.


In all, 15 presidential hopefuls were disqualified by Haiti's election commission (CEP), which has not explained the reasons for any of the dismissals.

“It’s clear something wrong happened with the diaspora candidates," says Jean-Junior Joseph, a Hatian political blogger. He says that many of the 19 approved presidential candidates had similar problems with their applications as those identified in the case of diaspora candidates.

The allegation of favoritism has implications beyond the diaspora. The upcoming elections are expected to cost some $29 million, with most of that to be paid by the United States and other donors, leaving foreign governments holding the bag for what critics say could be an unfair poll.

While allegations that the election commission may be politically biased are not unique to the current election cycle, there are hopes that the star power of Mr. Jean can bring attention to the issue and push the international community to demand change.

The Commission of Electoral Observation, a body of foreign observers from the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community appointed to monitor the Haitian electoral process, has already met with Minister of Haitians Living Abroad Edwin Paraison. “It’s the first time that international observers have expressed favor towards the participation of the diaspora in an electoral process,” he says.

Read the rest of this article at the Christian Science Monitor.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close