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Election Campaigning Grips Haiti

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Election Campaigning Grips Haiti

World

Election Campaigning Grips Haiti

Election Campaigning Grips Haiti

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5073544/5073583" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A Haitian man stands in front of campaign posters supporting candidate Charles Henri Baker in Ganthier, Haiti. Thony Belizaire/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Thony Belizaire/Getty Images

A Haitian man stands in front of campaign posters supporting candidate Charles Henri Baker in Ganthier, Haiti.

Thony Belizaire/Getty Images

There are 35 presidential candidates and 44 parties running in Haiti's first elections since former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ouster last year.

Haitian Political Jingles

Partial lyric: "Charles Henri Baker decided that Haiti must change; Real Haitians, we should all walk with him"

Partial lyric: "There's only one rendez-vous, it's the rendez-vous by the table; We die for the table, we'll be imprisoned for the table; We go into exile for the table, we'll vote for the table"

Charles Henri Baker

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5073544/5073573" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Partial lyric: "We are mobilized, we are going to elections; We are going to vote for Guy Philippe, we'll never forget what he did!"

Partial lyric: "Tell me who built more roads? Preval!; Who built more schools? Ti Rene!; And national production? Preval!; All Haitians, let's relax, put it down so we can rest!"

Marc Bazin

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5073544/5073575" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Guy Philipe

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5073544/5073577" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Rene Preval

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5073544/5073579" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Among the contenders for the country's top post are a former president, a rebel leader and a former prime minister.

The campaigning season has gotten under way, with posters, political rallies and candidate jingles flooding the streets and the airwaves.

In a country where more than 50 percent of the people are illiterate, election jingles are one of the most powerful campaign tools.

Each party has a symbol and a ballot number, and they figure prominently in the songs.

Former President Aristide still looms large in Haiti and candidates seem to be either running against him or as a stand-in for him. Aristide — a democratically elected leader — was forced out of office in February 2004.

Since then, an interim government backed by United Nations peacekeeping forces has been in charge of the country.

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