Haiti. The ruling party Lespwa won big in the second
round of elections to the Senate on June 21, but failed to
get its own majority. According to
countryaah, President René Préval's plans to
enforce substantial constitutional changes must therefore be
subject to a great deal of cow trading within Congress.
However, the election also made it clear that the
Haitians do not have much confidence in the political
community as a whole; turnout was woefully low, even lower
than in the first round of the Senate elections on April 26,
when no more than 11 percent of voters voted. In part, the
lack of interest in the election was due to the fact that
former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's popular party
Fanmi Lavalas was not allowed to participate in either the
first or second round. The Election Commission stated as a
reason that the party did not provide the necessary
documentation to prepare, but many judges, both in Haiti and
abroad, indicated that the decision was influenced by
President Préval and that the already low confidence in the
democratic process in the country could be further weakened.
During the year, the United Nations appointed former US
President Bill Clinton as a special UN envoy in Haiti. His
job is to assist the government in the economic development
of the country to achieve political stability. Clinton is
very popular in Haiti since he, as US President in 1994,
opened the way for the then recently deposed and elected
President Aristide's return to power.
At the same time, the Security Council voted to extend
the UN force MINUSTAH's mission in Haiti by another year.
Political stability appeared to be at risk when the Senate
voted unanimously in late October to dismiss Prime Minister
Michèle Pierre-Louis. She was replaced by Jean-Max