With the possible exception of the interpretation-obsessed U.S., I’ve never lived in a country so devoted to its constitution as Haiti. The 25th anniversary of the 1987 manman tout lwa was marked on Thursday by marches–by grassroots activist groups, by people under ex-President Aristide’s Lavalas party banner, and by former members of the demobilized national army. The first group called for citizens’ basic right to housing under article 22, highlighting in particular the plight of the hundreds of thousands living through their third rainy season under ratty tarps and tents. The second group protested for Martelly to step down due to his alleged dual nationality, which is forbidden under article 15. The third group defied government “orders” to stay confined to their (illegally occupied) military bases, and paraded their constitutionally-enshrined right to exist, citing articles 263 through 266.
In honour of these and other ongoing constitutional quarrels, here are some “scans” (er, photos–if you live in PAP and have a scanner, kindly let me know) of an illustrated Creole guide to the constitution. Click the right/left side of the image to go forward/back. Decentralization, dual nationality, the division of powers, provisional vs. permanent electoral council, physical abuse of cheeky journalists, it’s all laid out. Thanks, National Democratic Institute!