Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Monday, November 9, 2015

RAISE COUNTRY RISK ON HAITI TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL


If you have been following Haitian politics, you know that trouble is coming. The ongoing presidential election process in the Republic, reportedly again fatally flawed with election fraud, has a very good chance of resulting a popular explosion that will threaten domestic stability, and seriously damage a fragile and frail economy.

The candidate who is the designated favorite of the outgoing president is said to have received the largest popular vote in the election, but still insufficient to carry the day, which means that there will be a runoff election. The problem is, most observers believe that many of the votes cast for the front runner were fraudulent, and that he has absolutely no place in the runoff.

Is is feared that the blow back from the rampant election fraud will result in a chaotic domestic situation. Indeed, some seasoned observers of the Haitian political scene, worry that widespread violence will break out, and that ultimately, President Martelly will not serve out his term. Yes, it is that serious.

If Haiti reverts, once again, to the cycle of violence, there is no place for any capital investment, financial exposure, or even international trade. When you must worry about being able to visit a local bank, without being at risk for robbery or attack in the street, you know you have no business operating in that country, and if the situation deteriorates, as is expected, it will happen .

It has been my experience to have worked on bank compliance projects in Haiti, lectured at conferences there, and worked with government agencies in the capital, and I only wish Haiti the best in the future, but this current threat to stability unfortunately compels me to raise Country Risk on the Republic of Haiti to the highest level, which is a total bar to any financial, trade, or commercial, transactions, and to incurring any financial exposure, until we see a post-election normalcy established, with a government that the people are happy with.      

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