By Norly GERMAIN
Wyclef Jean has announced his public endorsement to the candidate Michel Martelly that has qualified for the Presidential second round in the run-off against the constitutional scholar Mirlande Manigat.
“Election is right around the corner. The King had a dreaming. He chose to be the President. We’re O.K. As long as we got music we can dance all day”. Election time is the recent release song by the well-known hip hop singer Wyclef Jean, in which he shares his Haitian presidential candidate experience with his fans after he was ruled out by the Provisional Election Council because he failed to meet the five consecutive years residency rules. Seeing that the dream of the king Martelly is about to become a reality,Wyclef chooses not to stay away from the kingdom by endorsing publicly the popular Haitian-musician and political outsider Michel Martelly.
Apparently music is not enough to keep the former member of the fugees in the spotlight. As the official presidential campaign starts this Thursday (February 17, 2011) in Haiti, Mr. Jean tries to make sure to be on the frontline of Haiti’s news. He is organizing a joint press conference with Mr. Martelly to give him his support. Silent since he was rejected from the presidential race , Mr. Jean has focused on his musical career. However, on November 28, 2010, he was among those who were in the street to denounce the massive fraud orchestrated in the election. At that time, he did not show off his support to any candidate. Did we know why? Surely not. Indeed, this second round of the election is a great opportunity for him to be back in the media to tell Haitian how they should love and lead Haiti. Therefore, we wonder if his grassroots is still effective in the country when we know that the youth organization “Jeune koré Jeune” that had supported his candidacy turned toward the “INITE” candidate Jude Celestin after Jean was rejected. Until now, that popular youth organization do not announce yet who they will endorse. Would Mr. Jean’s movement “Face à Face” bring a very great impact on Martelly’s Candidacy?
Anyway, this endorsement is profitable to the candidate Martelly. Meanwhile, if Mirlande Manigat has the endorsement of the “INITE” party, as it is said, the second round of the presidential election will be very tight for both candidates. Since INITE is about to win the senate and the chamber of Representative, it is worth for the presidential candidates to be in coalition with them. However, at this period of time, Haiti and the interest of its people should be prevailed over friendship and personal interests. Whoever tries to use his/her influence and popularity to endorse candidates to defend personal interests would have to face the consequences of their action in the future.
Alliance and endorsement are welcome if only that decision is based on a fair commitment to the viability of Haiti.The next President will face great challenges like moving the 1.5 million people from the makeshift camps and re-building the entire Haiti’s infrastructures systems after that massive earthquake struck the country last year. Coalition and endorsement can’t be made on friendship and emotions. May that election be the real path toward the development of a new Haiti with a new mentality of Haitians.