Michel Martelly, Felix Bautista and Election Campaign Financing

It is rather ironical that Haiti's president received the coveted Order of Merit of Duarte, Sanchez and Mella from his Dominican counterpart, President Leonel Fernández for exemplary service, while in real sense his involvement in very shoddy and fishy deals was to take the centre stage three days after the proclamation. It now emerges that Martelly's election campaign was partly funded by Felix Bautista, who owns several companies which were awarded reconstruction contracts in a slapdash manner. Martelly is said to have received more than $2.5 million from Bautista, way before he was elected president extending through to his reign as a president.


Following the revelations, Martelly's spokesmen came out clearly to refute the claims, arguing that the people behind the "Path of Millions" report were determined to taint Martelly's good name by mudslinging him. His communication center went ahead to claim that there were people out there who are out to politically assassinate the character of the president, only to air another rumor a few days later with blatant claims that it was Martelly who ordered the investigations into the irregular awarding of contracts toFelix Bautista's companies, yet it is crystal clear that he was opposed to it. In fact, this is what led to the resignation of the former Prime Minister, Gary Conile. Such an allegation is only meant to fool those who are too shortsighted to see the bigger picture.

Corruption charges are serious, especially for a head of state who is also battling lawmakers over his dual or triple citizenship claims as well as constant use of authoritarian means barely one year after he rose to power. His lawyers have indicated that they will be suing Nuru Piera, who broke out the story about election campaign being funded by Felix Bautista and the television channel on which she airs her program for defamation. In the neighboring Dominican Island lawyers are getting ready to set up a commission which will investigate the involvement of Bautista, with the possibility of indicting him. The courts are likely to be key determinants as to how matters play out, but it is only prudent that presidents and other holders of public positions be of unquestionable character and have untainted reputation.

Some Haitians seem to be fed up with the administration of the famous pop star, as evidenced by the rampant antigovernment demos as well as public outcries for his resignation. The government of Michel Martelly has failed to deliver, with little being done to fight off illiteracy, corruption, insecurity and many other vices that rock Haiti. Many are of the opinion that it is time for him to pack his bags and go home.

Furthermore, it appears that it costs $2.5 for Felix Bautista to buy a president. The precedence has been set. Anyone who desires to have his companies awarded contracts needs to part with such amounts of money, which will probably be used to finance the next presidential election campaigns.

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