Haiti: Convention for Democratic Unity (Konvansyon Inite Demokratick - KID), its activities, leaders and the treatment of its members by authorities; relationship with government (December 2003 - September 2009)
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board du Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||8 October 2009|
|Citation / Document Symbol||HTI103146.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Haiti: Convention for Democratic Unity (Konvansyon Inite Demokratick - KID), its activities, leaders and the treatment of its members by authorities; relationship with government (December 2003 - September 2009), 8 October 2009, HTI103146.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b7cee7d1e.html [accessed 20 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The Konvansyon Inite Demokratick or KID (Convention for Democratic Unity, Convention (de l') Unité Démocratique) is a Haitian political party originally founded as a political pressure group in 1986 (Le Nouvelliste 21 Mar. 2005). Le Nouvelliste describes the party as being populist (ibid.). While the use of the acronym KID is consistent, the organization has also been called the Komite Inite Democratik (Confederation of Democratic Unity) and the Konfederasyon Inite Demokratik (Democratic United/Unity Committee) at various times (ibid. PHW 2009, 556).
Evans Paul, the head of the KID, is a former mayor of Port-au-Prince and a former supporter of Jean-Bertrand Aristide (ibid.; RFI 6 Feb. 2006). He became a leading opposition figure against Aristide and his Famni Lavalas party (ibid.; PHW 2009, 556; International Crisis Group 25 Nov. 2005, 7). According to the International Crisis Group, "he is a polarising figure, viewed as a traitor by Lavalas loyalists and a potential populist in the Aristide mode by some elements of the elite" (ibid. 3 Aug. 2005, 5). Paul is also known as "K-Plim" (Le Nouvelliste 21 Mar. 2005; ibid.; 1 Mar. 2007b). In 2005, Paul was planning to run as the KID's candidate in the presidential elections (Radio Galaxie 31 Jan. 2005; Le Nouvelliste 21 Mar. 2005; International Crisis Group 3 Aug. 2005, 5).
In anticipation of the legislative and presidential elections that were held in 2006, the KID formed an electoral alliance with the People's Party for Haiti's Rebirth (Parti Populaire du Renouveau Haitien, PPRH ) to stand for presidential and legislative elections under the name Alyans (Alliance Démocratique – Democratic Alliance) (Radio Metropole 2 Aug. 2005; PHW 2009, 556). Alyans is described as a centre-left coalition (Europa World n.d.a; International Crisis Group 25 Nov. 2005, 7). KID leader Evans Paul became the head of Alyans and its presidential candidate (PHW 2009, 556; Europa World n.d.a; US 14 May 2009).
In March and February 2007, some KID and Alyans members openly expressed dissatisfaction with Evan Paul's leadership, calling for his resignation (AlterPresse 28 Feb. 2007; Le Nouvelliste 1 Mar. 2007a; ibid. 1 Mar. 2007b; ibid. 5 Mar. 2007). Le Nouvelliste quotes suspended KID and Alyans spokesperson André Michel as saying that the KID needed renewal as it had been led by Paul for 21 years (5 Mar. 2007). According to media articles, Evans Paul was leader of Alyans as of April 2009 (ibid. 29 Apr. 2009; SignalFMHaiti.com 29 Apr. 2009) and leader of the KID as of September 2009 (Scoop FM 2 Sept. 2009; Haiti Press Network 1 Sept. 2009a; MAXImini 1 Sept. 2009).
Further information on the KID's independent activities and leaders could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Treatment by authorities
On 16 October 2003, KID leader Evans Paul was attacked at Port-au-Prince Cathedral; he claimed his attackers were supporters of Famni Lavalas, the then governing party (Radio Metropole 20 Oct. 2003a; ibid. 20 Oct. 2003b; Signal FM Radio 20 Oct. 2003). According to Signal FM Radio, a presidential aide denied any political connection, attributing the attack to thieves (ibid.).
Information on the treatment of KID members by government authorities from 2003 to 2009 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, in September 2009 correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, a American-based, non-profit organization working for the development of human rights, justice and constitutional democracy in Haiti, indicated that he was not aware of any "high-level" attacks against KID members and supporters (14 Sept. 2009).
Relationship with government
Some Alyans members have been elected to Haitian legislative bodies (US 14 May 2009; Europa World n.d.b; ibid. n.d.c). Alyans member Maggy (also spelled Maguy) Durcé, was named to the Cabinet of the multiparty government put in place in 2006 (AlterPresse 6 June 2006; PHW 2009, 559; Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership 27 Aug. 2008). Alyans has also been among opposition groups that have been consulted on larger policy issues by the governing Lespwa Party (International Crisis Group 3 Mar. 2009, 3-4; AlterPresse 27 Apr. 2006). In correspondence, the Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, noted that "Alyans, and KID have been somewhat on the political fence since the 2006 elections, taking some positions critical of the government and some supportive" (10 Sept. 2009).
In September 2009, the KID declared itself in opposition to the government due to the lack of improvement in the quality of life of Haitians (Scoop FM 2 Sept. 2009; MAXImini 1 Sept. 2009; Haiti Press Network 1 Sept 2009b). According to Haitian radio station Scoop FM, KID leader Evans Paul declared that the party wanted to offer an alternative to the government (Scoop FM 2 Sept. 2009). Durcé, who had just become part of President Préval's inner cabinet, was asked by the KID to choose between her new position and the KID (ibid.; Haiti Press Network 1 Sept. 2009a). According to Scoop FM, Durcé chose to leave the party (Scoop FM 2 Sept. 2009).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
AlterPresse. 28 February 2007. "Haïti : Le parti Convention Unité Démocratique en crise."
_____. 6 June 2006. "Haïti: D'anciens ministres reconduits par le tandem Alexis / Préval II."
_____. 27 April 2006. "Haïti -Élections : 'La méconnaissance' du rôle du Parlement."
Europa World. N.d.a. "Haiti: Alyans (Alliance Démocratique)."
_____. N.d.b. "Haiti: Chambre des Députés."
_____. N.d.c. "Haiti: Sénat."
Haïti Press Network. 1 September 2009a. "Haïti: Maggy Durcé sommée de choisir entre le KID et le Palais national."
_____. 1 September 2009b. "Haïti: le parti KID se déclare en opposition au gouvernement Préval/Pierre-Louis."
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. 14 September 2009. Correspondence.
_____. 10 September 2009. Correspondence.
International Crisis Group. 3 March 2009. "Haiti 2009: Stability at Risk." (Latin America and Caribbean Briefing No. 19.)
_____. 25 November 2005. "Haiti's Elections: The Case for a Short Delay." (Latin America/Caribbean Briefing No. 9)
_____. 3 August 2005. "Can Haiti Hold Elections in 2005?" (Latin America/Caribbean Briefing No. 8)
MAXImini. 1 September 2009. "Haïti: La KID dans l'opposition."
Le Nouvelliste [Port-au-Prince]. 29 April 2009. Victor Jean Junior. "Haïti : Les candidats lésés fuient-ils le BCED?"
_____. 5 March 2007. Jean Gardy Gauthier "Haïti: André Michel suspendu de ses fonctions!"
_____. 1 March 2007a. "Haïti: Crise au sein de l'Alliance Démocratique."
_____. 1 March 2007b. "Haïti: L'actualité en question."
_____. 21 March 2005. Hugo Merveille. "Haïti: Evans Paul, candidat désigné à la présidence."
Political Handbook of the World 2009. 2009. "Haiti." Edited by Arthur S. Banks Thomas C. Muller, William R. Overstreet and Judith F. Isaroff. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Radio France internationale (RFI). 6 February 2006. Colette Thomas. "Haïti: Trente-deux candidats au fauteuil présidentiel."
Radio Galaxie [Port-au-Prince, in French]. 31 January 2005. "KID Leader Almost Certain to Stand for President in Haïti." (BBC Monitoring Americas 1 Feb. 2005 / Factiva)
Radio Metropole [Port-au-Prince, in French]. 2 August 2005. "Two Parties Form Alliance Ahead of Haitian Elections." (BBC Monitoring Americas 2 Aug. 2005 / Factiva)
_____. 20 October 2003a. "Haiti: Democratic Convergence Condems Attack on KID Leader in Cathedral." (BBC Monitoring Americas 22 October 2003 / Factiva)
_____. 20 October 2003b. "Un dirigeant de l'Opposition agressé par des partisans d'Aristide."
Scoop FM. 2 September 2009. "Haïti/Politique: Le KID s'oppose au gouvernement Préval/Pierre -Louis ... Maggy Durcé jette l'éponge."
SignalFMHaiti.com. 29 April 2009. "Le scrutin du 19 avril 2009 et son lot de contestations."
Signal FM Radio [Port-au-Prince, in Creole]. 20 October 2003. "Haiti: Member of President's Staff Blames Attack on KID Paul on 'Thieves'." (BBC Monitoring Americas 22 Oct. 2003 / Factiva)
United States (US). 14 May 2009. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Haiti." The World Factbook.
Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership. 27 August 2008. "Haiti Ministers."
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral Sources: Attempts to reach the Director of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights were unsuccessful.
Internet sources, including: Agence Haitienne de Presse, Centre International de Documentation et d'Information Haitienne, Caribéenne et Afro-Canadienne, Cable News Network (CNN), Fouye.com, Haïti-Référence, Haïti Sans Frontières, InfoHaïti, Inter Press Service, MSNBC, Radio-Canada, Radio Télévision Caraïbes.