CaribWorldNews, TAMPA, FL, Mon. Oct. 18, 2010: Haitians and Haitians Americans in the U.S. are exempt from voting in their homeland`s election and cannot run for office in the country unless they live there for five years consecutively and hold not U.S. citizenry, but that has not stopped the candidates hoping to win the November 28th election from seeking their help.
Five of the 19 hopefuls came here to Tampa, FL Saturday, for a forum at Tampa Bay college with some 150 Haitian nationals and Haitian Americans.
The five, including Gerard Blot, Garaudy Laguerre, Eric Smarcki Charles, Eric Smarcki Charles and Josette Bijou all promised to include the Haitian Diaspora in their decision-making process as Haiti recovers, should they win the presidency.
Blot called Haitian-Americans a `financial resource` for their homeland while Laguerre acknowledged that he can make promises, but not guarantees, to include the Diaspora in his government.
`If I would promise that they all would have a Haitian passport and be able to vote in Haitian elections, not only would I be lying to you I would be lying to myself,` he said in Haitian Creole.
The forum was organized and moderated by Daniel Thelusmar of the Tampa-based Heart to Heart Caribbean Ministry. It was broadcast live online to more than 160 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, France, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The presidential election in Haiti is scheduled for Nov. 28 as the Caribbean nation struggles to recover from a January earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless.