New York Times, Constitution du 29 mars 1987 :The document is filled with measures that create obstacles to any future dictatorship and promise a wide range of personal liberties.
Konstitisyon 1987 la, pat gen benyen kache lonbrit, se pa 5 nèg yo di kisa pou yal ekri, li kisa New Times di nan yon tèks ki date 30 mas 1987 :
The meetings of the 60-member assembly that drafted the document were broadcast live on national radio and the elements of the proposal and the meaning of democracy have been debated in dozens of radio and television programs.
29 mars 1987 : Robert E. White, a former United States Ambassador in El Salvador and Paraguay, said the team of American observers he is leading had noted »certain technical difficulties » but nothing that suggested any misconduct.
HAITIANS VOTE ON PROPOSED CONSTITUTION
New York, mercredi 29 mars 2023 ((rezonodwes.com))– Tens of thousands of Haitians voted today for a new constitution that promises freedom from the tyrannies that have prevailed in this Caribbean country through most of its history.
Political leaders, radio stations and a team of American observers described the turnout as huge and said the voting seemed overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed constitution, which includes procedures for presidential elections that are scheduled for November.
Some political leaders estimated the turnout in the capital at more than 50 percent, but they acknowledged that accurate estimates were especially difficult in a country where elections have seldom been taken seriously and where voting lists do not exist.
An official preliminary count is to be completed in the next few days, and it is expected to confirm the overwhelming support for the constitution that was apparent today.
There was an atmosphere of anticipation and mild excitement as the nation took one of its first big steps toward building a democracy. In a rare mingling of social classes, rich and poor waited in the same lines to vote. Many men and women, well along in years, said they were voting for the first time and they were clearly enjoying the experience.
»For the first time, » said Jean Baker Fils-Aime, a national television announcer, as he introduced a special Election Day program, ‘‘the Haitian people have a chance to demonstrate their dignity and impose their will. »
For many, a yes vote was a repudiation of the past and a condemnation of the interim government that has brought little material improvement for the hemisphere’s poorest nation since the ouster of Jean-Claude Duvalier as President 14 months ago.
Leslie Manigat, a 56-year-old professor of political science and one of the leading contenders for the presidency, called the referendum a »truly democratic election. » Robert E. White, a former United States Ambassador in El Salvador and Paraguay, said the team of American observers he is leading had noted »certain technical difficulties » but nothing that suggested any misconduct.
Mr. White, who now heads the International Center for Development Policy in Washington, said he had been amazed to see only a few soldiers and policemen patrolling the streets and posted at polling places.
»People ignored the security, » he said, »and it was clear they didn’t feel any pressure whatsoever from the military. »
Mr. Manigat proclaimed today to be »the second greatest day » in Haiti since the 35-year-old dictator fled into exile.
There were no boisterous crowds dancing and trotting in ranks through the streets, no drivers blasting automobile horns and waving rum bottles today. But spirits were high nonetheless.
At a polling place in a clinic in one of the poorest slums, dozens of voters broke into song in praise of the constitution. Some people dressed all in white, the color of the yes ballot, and many people wore white bandannas and ribbons on their heads.
The vote was meant to be secret, but many people made a point of showing that they were voting yes. Many gleefully shredded their no ballots. Some stamped on them and some chewed them into a pulp. A Breakup of the Military
Lieut. Gen. Henri Namphy, the head of the provisional government, stepped out of sight to cast his ballot at the University of Haiti law school.
Although General Namphy had urged Haitians to vote, several Haitians and diplomats in touch with him said he seemed to have reservations about the draft constitution, which contains several articles regarded as diminishing the military’s power.
The document would separate the present monolithic armed forces into distinct military and police forces. It would subject the military to civilian courts and would bar military officers from running for political office this year.
The document is filled with measures that create obstacles to any future dictatorship and promise a wide range of personal liberties. For example, it lists as rights free education, decent housing and a fair wage, none of which has been attainable for the average Haitian in the past. It establishes Creole as an official language, along with French, and eliminates official, but generally ignored, sanctions against voodoo.
Despite an illiteracy rate of 80 percent, many Haitians seemed knowledgeable on the details of the proposed constitution. The meetings of the 60-member assembly that drafted the document were broadcast live on national radio and the elements of the proposal and the meaning of democracy have been debated in dozens of radio and television programs.
Some voters today carried copies of the draft constitution, which the Government had distributed in both Creole and French, and many referred to specific articles that had won their support.
Everyone seemed delighted that the proposal would greatly reduce the traditional powers of the president and no one seemed worried that, as many political leaders see it, an extensive set of checks and balances threatens to make the government unworkable.
Probably the most talked-about article bans close associates of the Duvaliers and key members of their regime from participating in Haitian public life for the next 10 years.
»If we said no today it would mean we wanted to go back to slavery under the Duvaliers, » said Jean-Max Desjardins, a 35-year-old former soldier, shortly after casting his ballot in favor of the draft constitution this morning.