For those of you who are not fully caught up on the turbulence of Haiti’s current election cycle, please take a moment to read our February 2016 article below:
How we got here: Haiti’s Presidential Elections
If you’re looking for the necessary historical and political context to better understand this election, we recommend:
Haiti’s History With Democracy : An Update on the Presidential Election
Haiti’s citizens will head back to the polls on October 9th to cast their votes in the re-run election for the presidency. In addition to the two primary candidates, Jude Celestin and Jovenel Moïse, Dr. Maryse Narcisse’s name will also reappear on the ballot. After finishing 4th with roughly 7% of the vote last October, it would seem easy to dismiss her viability; however, given the recent outpouring of support and the large crowds she has been drawing with the campaigning help of former president Mr. Jean Bertrand Aristide, she shouldn’t be underestimated.
Therefore, given her recent surge in popularity going into the vote on October 9th, we wanted to introduce Dr. Maryse Narcisse to our followers, as well as briefly overview the history of the Fanmi Lavalas Party that she is representing.
The Fanmi Lavalas:
To understand the significance of the Fanmi Lavalas Party requires an understanding of Haiti’s delicate (and relatively young) history with democracy. It was the Lavalas movement (Lavalas meaning flood, or torrent in Creole) that first propelled Jean Bertrand Aristide to Presidential victory in 1990; in February 1991, he was inaugurated as Haiti’s first democratically elected president.
A former priest, Aristide’s loyalty was to the masses. But despite widespread popularity with the people, friction with Haiti’s elite and military led to a successful coup in August, 1991. Due to civil unrest and public pressure, the U.S. helped to restore Aristide to power in 1994, but he was constitutionally banned from running for a subsequent term in 1996.
Aristide officially founded the Fanmi Lavalas Party in 1997. He was reelected as president in 2001. Aristide’s second term, much like his first, was marked by persistent political violence. Aristide’s opponents point to the “Chimere” – a collection of armed shadow groups loyal to Lavalas and extremely violent themselves – as proof of Aristide’s complicity in political killings and intimidation. In 2004, Aristide fled the country (or was forcibly relocated, depending on who you ask) – not to return again until the Presidential run-off election seven years later in 2011. This year, Aristide has become involved to a degree unheard of since his own time in office, joining Dr. Maryse Narcisse on the campaign trail for the Fanmi Lavalas Party.
Dr. Maryse Narcisse
Dr.Narcisse has credentials in the fields of Public Health and Medicine. She received her Doctorate of Medicine at the Université d’État d’Haïti, as well as Master’s degree in Public Health from Tulane University, in New Orleans, LA. She is a candidate for her Doctorate degree in Public Health from the State University of New York at Albany, and has studied in Haiti, France, and the United States.
In Haiti, her political experience also creates a lengthy resumé. Listed on her campaign’s homepage are the following positions:
– National Coordinator for the Fanmi Lavalas Organization’s Executive Committee
– Member of the Administrative Council for the Université de la Fondation Dr. Aristide
– Official Consultant for Public Health, Haiti 2009 – Present
– Official Consultant for the Fight Against Aids Program, PNUD-Haïti, 2007-2008
– Official Consultant for Public Health for the President of the Republic of Haiti, National Palace
– Member of the Administrative Council for the Hôpital La Paix, Haïti, 2003-2004
– Graduate Research Assistant, AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health
– Evaluation Research Specialist, Congenital Malformations Registry, New York State
– Evaluation Research Specialist, Council on Children and Families, Albany NY, 2000
– Minister Counsellor for the Haiti Permanent Mission to the Unite Nation, New York, NY
– General Director, Ministry for Public Health and Population (MSPP)
– Technical Director for Public Health, Project Director for the HIV/AIDS Project
– Technical Director for Public Health, for the Association for Private Health Works – AOPS (Project financed by USAID), Haiti 1992-1993
– National Director, Development of Human Resources, Ministry for Public Health and Population (MSPP) , 1991
– National Consultant, Ministry for Public Health and Population (MSPP), Global Organization for Health (OMS), 1987 – 1990
Taken from Dr. Maryse Narcisse’ Home page, this campaign member’s shirt reads:
The People Agree … Dr. Maryse for President
If all goes as planned, the vote on October 9th will determine whether or not Dr. Maryse Narcisse will be able to continue the political legacy of her party’s founder, Mr. Jean Bertrand Aristide.
To learn more about Dr. Maryse Narcisse, visit her campaign homepage, or follow her on Twitter @Dr_M_Narcisse. (We at HaitiHub make no endorsements of Dr. Narcisse or any other presidential candidates. We are just here with information.)
Written by Erin Nguyen on September 29, 2016