Haiti's Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy

By Robert Fatton Jr. | Go to book overview

6
The Antagonistic Present
and Future Alternatives

Lavalas and the Challenge of Convergence Démocratique

The overwhelming victory of Aristide in the presidential elections of November 26, 2000, has exacerbated the antagonisms afflicting Haitian politics.1 Facing no serious challengers and limiting his campaign to a single short public appearance, Aristide gained little legitimacy or credibility by winning an election that can only be called farcical. The election took place in the violent aftermath of a complete breakdown in negotiations over the contested May legislative ballots and further aggravated conflicts between Fanmi Lavalas and the Convergence Démocratique (CD).2

CD crystallized in the days following the legislative elections as an umbrella organization regrouping fifteen opposition parties. It put forward initially the so-called option zero, which demanded the resignation of President Préval and his government, the annulment of the legislative elections, the postponement of the presidential ballot, the installation of a new and impartial electoral council, and the formation of an interim ruling body charged with organizing new general elections. Moreover, CD refused any cooperation with what it considered the illegitimate Fanmi Lavalas regime. Option zero was thus a maximalist position that had little likelihood of materializing.

Facing a complete and dangerous impasse, however, the contending parties agreed to engage in a "dialogue" sponsored by the Organization of American States. Engineered by the OAS assistant secretary-general, Luigi Einaudi, the dialogue occurred in late September and October but failed to generate the desired political compromise. The two sides had unbridgeable positions; while CD modified its option zero, it persisted in demanding the creation of a provisional government of "national unity," the installation of a new and impartial electoral council, the holding of entirely new legislative elections, and a postponement of the presidential elections set for

-141-

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Haiti's Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: Class, State, and Civil Society in Haiti 27
  • 3: The Fall of Duvalier and the Contradictions of Democratization 51
  • 4: The Rise, Fall, and Second Coming of Jean-Bertrand Aristide 77
  • 5: The Vicissitudes of Lavalasian Power 107
  • 6: The Antagonistic Present and Future Alternatives 141
  • 7: Toward a Compromise? 177
  • 8: Conclusion 197
  • Acronyms 213
  • Glossary 215
  • Bibliography 217
  • Index 229
  • About the Book 237
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