Haitians are in desperate need of help. They need the help of their president, who must oversee legitimate runoff elections in the next few weeks, and the help of the international community, which is understandably hesitant to provide billions of dollars in aid while the earthquake- and cholera-ravaged nation remains in political turmoil. What they don't need is the help offered — or should that be threatened? — by former President-for-life Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who should either be held to account for his crimes or escorted to the next plane off the island.
In a move of extraordinary chutzpah, Duvalier returned to Haiti on Sunday, 25 years after being forced into exile. The former dictator arrived at a tumultuous moment, just after the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and destroyed much of the capital city, and in the wake of a bungled presidential election that has left a political vacuum. The election remains undecided: Jude Celestin, the favored candidate of current President Rene Preval, was at first reported to have made it to the second round of voting, but now an investigation by the Organization of American States has found rampant fraud. The OAS recommended that Celestin be removed from the running and that Michel Martelly, a popular musician, should face off against the top vote-getter, Mirlande Manigat.