PETIONVILLE, Haiti – Haiti held its second presidential debate ever Saturday, a sparsely attended event that was short on detailed responses and disrupted by multiple power blackouts.
During the two-hour televised debate held at a restaurant, only four of 19 candidates in the Nov. 28 election faced off in front of about 40 audience members.
The four gave few specifics about how they would help the nation recover from the January earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless. The Western Hemisphere’s most impoverished country has received only a trickle of the $5.3 billion pledged in international aid.
Candidate Gerard Blot asked for a minute of silence for quake victims before his opening remarks, and he encouraged Haitians overseas to become more involved in helping rebuild.
Sen. Jean Hector Anacacis said he would try to revive the National Guard and create a secret service agency that would bolster security and create a safer environment for foreign investors.
Pastor Jean Chavannes Jeune said he wanted a government that would create unity and help solve problems.
Wilson Jeudy, mayor of the city of Delmas east of Port-au-Prince, agreed. “Everyone is tired,” he said.