So what’s up with this creepy, Vincent Price-like diplomat from Guatemala, Edmond Mulet, who is interfering so confidently in the Haitian election? An Al Jazeera report by Sebastian Walker which aired last night, reveals that Mulet contacted two candidates, Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly, on the same day earlier this week and told each one that they were “ahead” in the vote count. If you recall, on election day, 12 of the 18 presidential candidates, including Manigat and Martelly, held a press conference calling for the invalidation of the election due to massive fraud. With two-thirds of the presidential candidates calling for the plug to be pulled on the election, Mulet was in a pickle. His calls to Manigat and Martelly were designed to appeal to their political ambition so that they would break with the ten others and support a continuation of the vote count. And this is just what happened. Following is the Al Jazeera report by Sebastian Walker:
And, today, the media is reporting that Mulet threatened to withdraw MINUSTAH, the UN peacekeeping operation, from Haiti if the “people’s will is not respected” by validating what can only be described as a theatre of the absurd election held on November 28. Mulet is often given to dramatic expression of his opinion in interviews, but he is walking on thin ice by threatening to remove MINUSTAH from the country– last I heard, it is still the UN Security Council who decides when the peacekeepers leave.
Within the last few days, more and more Haitians have hit the streets to demand that the election be invalidated and seem steadfast in not having the international community cram it down their throats.
Just a few minutes ago, a news article quotes Haiti’s ambassador to the UN Leo Meores as saying, “We are moving forward in terms of a democratic tranistion of power.” Yet, Ban ki-moon stated, “The irregularities now seem more serious than we initially thought.” Stay tuned.
Below is the article about Mulet’s threatening to remove MINUSTAH from Haiti:
Twelve of the 18 presidential contenders are demanding that the election results be annulled after a campaign marred by violence and fraud. -AFP
Fri, Dec 03, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE- The United Nations will leave Haiti and world powers will stop supporting the impoverished nation if the government fails to honor election results, a top UN peacekeeper said Thursday.
“If the people’s decision is respected and recognized by Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, there will be no problems and the international community will be engaged in helping the new government face huge challenges,” Edmond Mulet said as the country awaited the outcome of Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections.
But he warned in an interview that “the international community will pull out of Haiti and the country will not benefit from international support and resources if the people’s decision is not respected.”
Twelve of the 18 presidential contenders are demanding that the election results be annulled after a campaign marred by violence and fraud in favor of ruling party candidate Jude Celestin.
“We continue to have faith in the members of the Provisional Electoral Council. We will see whether they are up to the circumstances and whether neither intimidation nor money can make them change their minds,” Mulet said.
Tensions meanwhile simmered in Haiti with its political future hanging in the balance as vote-counting was underway ahead of the expected release of preliminary results on Tuesday.
Protesters renewed charges of vote-rigging and cholera fears led to deadly mob violence while candidates remained split over whether to endorse the outcome. Amid growing tensions, authorities banned public demonstrations demanding President Rene Preval’s ouster.
With the impoverished Caribbean nation in limbo, between 2,000 and 3,000 opposition demonstrators peacefully took to the streets of Port-au-Prince seeking annulment of the vote to determine the successor to Preval.
An unexpected admission from the ruling INITE (UNITY) party that Celestin may have lost the vote has brought hope of a political watershed if the dysfunctional, failing nation is able to manage a relatively peaceful transition of power.
Meanwhile, the stubborn cholera epidemic, which has claimed more than 1,800 lives since mid-October, cast a shadow over the first election since a massive earthquake tore the country apart in January, killing some 250,000 people.
Expressing concern about the post-election crisis, Mulet urged for calm.
“The UN and the international community will never accept that a legitimate Haitian president leaves under pressure from the street. It would be a coup,” he said in responding to the calls for Preval’s removal.
“People have to stop this business of anticipating the departure of an elected president. These precedents in Haiti must stop. An elected government must be replaced by an elected government.”
Haiti has been plagued by dictatorships and political upheaval, and several of its past leaders have fled or been forced into exile, including Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president.
French Ambassador Didier Le Bret echoed Mulet’s concerns, telling Radio Metropole “we cannot demand to depose a legitimately elected authority under the pretext of elections not being completed successfully. It would be a coup.”