Haiti:A Whisper for Democracy

A Whisper for Democracy

For the first time in 29 years, the Caribbean's poorest people had spoken in a free and fair national election. The occasion: the selection of 41 delegates to a 61-member commission charged with writing Haiti's 23rd constitution. The voting was held on schedule, but less than 10% of the country's estimated 2.9 million eligible voters cast ballots. Despite heady days of promise last February after President-for-Life Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc") Duvalier fled to exile in France, Haitians exercised their democratic franchise last week with a whisper.

Signs of deep-seated skepticism toward the balloting were widespread. Some Haitians complained that the Port-au-Prince government,...

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