Nouvèl FOKAL

mercredi 4 mai 2011

VDF Clubs: the young react to the presidential elections

Many converging points of view came out of the positions and reactions of the young members of the Vague du futur clubs (Wave of the future clubs) on the legislative and presidential elections that were held in Haiti and on the victory of Michel Martelly as newly elected president of the country.

Beyond the partisan positions for or against a candidate, the young members discussed the following question: « What are your feelings about the elections? ». On the communication level, the members of the Santo club thought that more effort had been put into informing Haitians about the electoral process and into encouraging participation in the voting. They felt that the use of other information tools such as information pamphlets, internet, posters in the BED/BEC (electoral offices), etc. which gave voters information on where to vote, was a major innovation.

In spite of irregularities noticed during these elections (in particular, during the first round of November 28, 2010), the youth of the Martissant club felt that the voice of the Haitian people was respected through their vote. This for them is proof that democracy is not totally non-existent in the country. It will now be up to the people to support and control this government they chose.

On the race between candidates, although the voters were overexposed with images, the youth of Santo thought that the candidate debates never went beyond slogans and differences in programs were not put forth.

As far as expectations for the new president elect is concerned, some said they had none. Many believe that it is the international community that decides anyway. Same reaction from one of the Darbonne members: « Haiti at this time, is still not ready to organise elections, since without the help of foreign countries, without international financial help, there would be no elections ».

Others, from the Santo club think that it is up to Haitians themselves to take control of the future of their country: « We cannot leave our country in the hands of one person », said one of them.

Others also expressed the hope that the new president will carry out his promises to the Haitian people and that the living conditions improve for the population. Some young people said they have no expectations as far as the new government put in place around the president is concerned, others hope that there will be improvements in the quality and accessibility of education.

As a general view and according to the present state of the country, the Martissant members don’t think that things will go according to plan for Martelly, since he only has three members of his party in parliament. His decisions have to be validated in parliament where he is far from having the majority. In spite of all those difficulties, some think that if Michel Joseph Martelly comes to prove that free education was not only a campaign slogan, he will become an exceptional president.

But in the face of all the promises he has made, many members expressed the fear that those promises will turn against him even before his mandate is over. Finally, the youth hope to see the start of  major reconstruction sites so as to get the population out of the tent cities as soon as possible.

Wiguerby Bellegarde (VDF Club of Santo), Max G. Saint Fleur and Maxandre Bien-Aimé (VDF Club of Léogane-Darbonne) and Jennyfer J. Dérosier (VDF Club of Martissant)