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Fanmi Lavalas is a populist leftist political party in Haitimarker. Former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is the leader of the party, which has been a powerful force in Haitian politics since 1991. "Fanmi Lavalas" may be roughly translated into English as "Avalanche Family" or "Waterfall Family" (referring to the Biblical flood), but the name is almost never completely translated from Kréyòl, although it is sometimes given as "Lavalas Family." Its governments supported a policy of "growth with equity" based upon Caribbeanmarker and Western European social democratic principles. FL governments have invested in education and health care while refusing IMFmarker austerity measures. Fanmi Lavalas was formed in 1996 as a split by Aristide and the poor masses from the smaller Struggling People's Party. Two main reasons for the creation of Fanmi Lavalas are known: (1) to allow the Lavalas movement to remain inclusive while opposing the neo-liberal policies of the foreign influenced OPL; (2) to prevent rival politicians from taking over the movement's leadership from Aristide and other more left-wing leaders. The Haitian military overthrew Aristide's first government in 1991 with US assistance.

Elections were set for 2006 by the Interim Government, which was put in place by foreign powers Canada, US, and France. Certain members of Fanmi Lavalas put forward that Marc Bazin was the Lavalas candidate. However, its grassroots supporters overwhelmingly supported Rene Preval in his campaign as president. Lavalas candidates boycotted the election for the most part but its voters supported the emergence of Preval's Lespwa party. The results of the election of the 7 February and 21 April 2006 Chamber of Deputies are not available. Lavalas now forms part of the governing coalition under Jacques-Édouard Alexis. [48782]

The militant South African shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo has organized in solidarity with Fanmi Lavalas since 2006.

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References

  1. See various documents online at http://www.abahlali.org



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