Barring of Lavlas sparks fears of unrest in Haiti

Posted on February 17, 2009


REUTERS reports that Haitian authorities say they have barred the country’s most popular political party from Senate elections, a move some fear could spark unrest.


My fascination with the country was sparked by one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen entitled : The Ghosts of City Soleil. It pictures how two charismatic, but lawless young brothers are torn apart by political forces in the Port au Prince ghettos.


Article continues following the trailer

As soon as I could, I googled the director. His name is Asger Leth. It turns out his father is also a documentary maker who has spent many years capturing life in Haiti. According to Leth, political events in Haiti are so cyclical that it makes it very easy for a filmmaker to plot how events will unfold:


“The thing in Haiti is that when the rebellion starts in the specific city of Gonaives it always ends up with the president or the dictator leaving the country. And it’s always at the end of February! It’s crazy as a documentary filmmaker that you can already [know that].”


Which is why it was so interesting to read the following report on the wires today (towards the end of February):


Haitian electoral officials said The Lavalas Family Party failed to submit papers from former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide authorizing the party’s list of Senate candidates; Aristide is living in exile in South Africa.


 Lavalas Family Party members protested when officials refused to register their candidates on Feb. 6.


Although electoral officials had given them until Monday to submit the legal mandate, it was claimed that Lavas missed the deadline


As a result its 12 candidates were barred from running in the April 19 Senate election.

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