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Haiti: The Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes, RDNP); political activities and organizational structure; regions of the country that its elected members represent; the socio-economic groups and geographic areas of Haiti that support it; treatment of its members by the authorities (2009-April 2013)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 19 April 2013
Citation / Document Symbol HTI104366.FE
Related Document(s) Haïti : information sur le Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes (RDNP); activités politiques et structure organisationnelle; régions du pays que ses membres élus représentent; groupes socio-économiques et zones géographiques d'Haïti d'où proviennent les appuis du parti; traitement réservé à ses membres par les autorités (2009-avril 2013)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Haiti: The Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes, RDNP); political activities and organizational structure; regions of the country that its elected members represent; the socio-economic groups and geographic areas of Haiti that support it; treatment of its members by the authorities (2009-April 2013), 19 April 2013, HTI104366.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/51dd1b654.html [accessed 18 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis 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.

1. Overview

The Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes, RDNP) is a Haitian political party formed during the 1970s (PHW 2012, 600; Europa n.d.a). According to the Political Handbook of the World 2012 (PHW), the RDNP was founded by Leslie Manigat (PHW 2012, 600). Leslie Manigat was elected as the president of the country in 1988, but was ousted in a coup a few months later (ibid.; Time 15 Nov. 2010; IPU n.d.). In 2006, he came in second place during the presidential elections (PHW 2012, 600; Time 15 Nov. 2010).

The secretary general of the party is Mirlande Manigat (PHW 2012, 600; Europa n.d.a). She is Leslie Manigat's wife (PHW 2012, 596; Europa n.d.b; IPU n.d.). Mirlande Manigat was a candidate in the 2010 presidential elections (PHW 2012, 600; IPU n.d.). She received the largest percentage of votes during the first round and finished second against Michel Martelly during the second and last round in March 2011 (PHW 2012, 600; IPU n.d.).

Europa World Online describes the RDNP as a centre party (n.d.). The Political Handbook of the World 2012 indicates that in 1986, Leslie Manigat called for solidarity between the "centrist" parties (PHW 2012, 600). In addition, that same publication states that Mirlande Manigat "campaigned on a centre-right platform" during the 2010 presidential elections (ibid.). However, in a Time magazine article about the party, Mirlande Manigat described the RDNP as a "center-left, 'capitalist with a human face'" (Time 15 Nov. 2010). No information on the political activities and the organizational structure of the RDNP could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of the Response.

2. Party Support

The RDNP won four seats in the Chamber of Deputies in the 2006 legislative elections (PHW 2012, 600; IPU n.d.). The four RDNP deputies elected during these elections represented the constituencies of Anse-Rouge, Léogane, Baie de Henne/Bombardopolis and Jérémie (Haiti n.d.c).

Legislative elections were held in two rounds, in November 2010 and in March 2011 (PHW 2012, 603; IPU n.d.; Europa n.d.b). The RDNP obtained no seat in the Chamber of Deputies in these elections (Haiti n.d.a). The RDNP also has no seat in the Senate (Haiti n.d.b).

According to the Political Handbook, Mirlande Manigat received support from a large part of the political elite as well as from several parliamentarians in the 2010 presidential campaign (PHW 2012, 598, 601). The Inter-Parliamentary Union also points out that Mirlande Manigat was backed by the Collective Movement for Haitian Renewal, which is described as a [English version of IPU] "group of influential parliamentarians" (IPU n.d.).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), an American NGO that devotes itself to human rights, justice and democratization in Haiti, stated that the RNDP's base is "urban, educated elites" (IJDH 8 Apr. 2012). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

3. Treatment of RDNP Members by the Authorities

Limited information on the treatment of party members by the authorities could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

In March 2011, two people who were putting up posters for the presidential campaign of Mirlande Manigat were arrested, beaten and killed by officers of the Haitian National Police (US 24 May 2012, 2; RNDDH 20 June 2011). According to the National Human Rights Defence Network (Réseau national de défense des droits humains, RNDDH), a Haitian NGO, a third individual who was also putting up posters was also arrested (ibid.). According to Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 published by the US Department of State, seven police officers from the riot unit were placed in detention pending an investigation into the matter, and five of them were charged (US 24 May 2012, 2).

In January 2013, a meeting of opposition party members was disrupted in Arcahaie [city in the western department] (Le Nouvelliste 7 Jan. 2013; Radio Vision 2000 6 Jan. 2013; Radio Kiskeya 5 Jan. 2013). The attackers presented themselves as supporters of the party in power but the chair denied any involvement (ibid.; Radio Vision 2000 6 Jan. 2013). According to the Haitian daily Le Nouvelliste, one individual was injured (Le Nouvelliste 7 Jan. 2013), while according to Radio Kiskeya in Haiti, two were injured (Radio Kiskeya 5 Jan. 2013). Mirlande Manigat was present (ibid.; Radio Vision 2000 6 Jan. 2013), and according to Le Nouvelliste, her presence was one of the reasons for the disturbance (Le Nouvelliste 7 Jan. 2013). She reported the lack of protection and response from the local security forces that did not intervene, but did note that one police chief linked directly to Port-au-Prince had ordered a motorized response brigade to assist the participants (ibid.).

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.

References

Europa World Online. N.d.a "Rassemblement des démocrates nationaux progressistes (RDNP)." [Accessed 12 Apr. 2013]

_____. N.d.b "Haiti : 2010 and 2011 Elections." [Accessed 12 Apr. 2013]

Haiti. N.d.a. Parlement Haitien. "Liste des députés de la 49ème législature." [Accessed 12 Apr. 2013]

_____. N.d.b. Parlement Haitien. "Liste des sénateurs de la 49ème législature." [Accessed 12 Apr. 2013]

_____. N.d.c. Parlement Haitien. "Liste des députés de la 48ème législature." [Accessed 15 Apr. 2013]

Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). 8 April 2013. Correspondence sent to the Research Directorate by the director.

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). N.d. "Haïti : Chambre des députés." PARLINE. [Accessed 15 Apr. 2013]

Le Nouvelliste [Port-au-Prince]. 7 January 2013. Danio Darius. "Une rencontre de l'opposition perturbée, le gouvernement se défend." [Accessed 15 Apr. 2013]

Political Handbook of the World 2012 (PHW). 2012. "Haiti." Edited by Tom Lansford. Washington, DC: CQ Press. [Accessed 12 Apr. 2013]

Radio Kiskeya. 5 January 2013. "L'opposition dénonce l'interruption d'un rassemblement à l'Arcahaie par des pro-Martelly." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2013]

Radio Vision 2000. 6 January 2013. Succès Estinvil. "Les titres de l'actualité sur Vision 2000." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2013]

Réseau national de défense des droits humains (RNDDH). 20 June 2011. "Actes de bastonnades et d'exécutions sommaires au sein des commissariats : le RNDDH tire la sonnette d'alarme." [Accessed 12 Apr. 2013]

Time. 15 November 2010. Tim Padgett and Jessica Desvarieux. "The Woman Who Would Be Haiti's Next President." [Accessed 5 Apr. 2013]

United States (US). 24 May 2012. Department of State. "Haiti." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011. [Accessed 12 Apr. 2013]

Additional Sources Consulted

Publication: Political Parties of the World.

Internet sites, including: Alterpresse; Amnesty International; Carib Creole News; Defend Haiti; ecoi.net; United States - Overseas Security Advisory Council; Factiva; Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme; France - Cour nationale du droit d'asile; Freedom House; Haiti - ministère de la Justice et de la Sécurité publique; Haiti Observer; Haiti Press Network; Human Rights First; Human Rights Watch; InfoHaiti.net; International Crisis Group; Le Matin; Radio Anse-Rouge; Radio Métropole Haiti; Radio SignalFM; United Kingdom - Home Office; United Nations - ReliefWeb, Refworld, Integrated Regional Information Networks.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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