Recent elections in Haiti have been hampered by massive irregularities in which the government acknowledged that it failed to adequately train poll workers. In the midst of its results – which benefits President Michel Martelly’s ruling party – it is tempting for the average person reading this in the U.S. to blame Haiti’s leaders for the situation. However, the structural framework of poverty and inequality that destabilizes the country comes mainly from overseas influence and consistently applies pressure and drains Haiti’s resources. That unjust structure fuels dictatorships, dependency, massive urbanization, and centralization and was followed by the application of neo-liberal economic policies ever since the “transition to democracy” began in 1986. No wonder Haitian analysts point out the differences between events like the earthquake and disasters, resulting from what scholars call “vulnerability.”
It is in that social context that the National Spiritual Council of Churches of Haiti (CONASPEH) has published a Press Release deploring the behavior of some religious and social organizations in Haiti, regarding the electoral process. As they indicate in the document, the act of recognizing the results of that process put those organizations on a path to participate directly in a social conflict that has already affected the interests of the common good in Haiti as well as submitting that the organizations are in discredit from the Haitian people. More than just pretending to play a facilitating role in trying to validate results of a corrupted election process, CONASPEH challenges social and religious sectors to work into finding a consensus about how to deal with the structural crisis and vulnerability in Haiti.
As for the electoral and political crisis that the country is facing, CONASPEH, believes that the government in power and the opposition should make every sacrifice for the country to find a way out of this impasse by facilitating the establishment of the independent commission check and knowing they have “a problem to solve and not a battle to be won.”