A woman puts her hand near a crack on a wall as she waits for food distribution in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 27, 2010.
Carlos Barria / Reuters

Six years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, much of its infrastructure and institutions still lie in ruins, and its democracy is now in crisis as well. After coming to power in 2011, Haitian President Michel Martelly failed to schedule elections for four years. He filled municipal posts with political appointees and has ruled by decree since parliament dissolved in January 2015, when the terms of two-thirds of the senate and the entire lower house expired. When elections finally happened in August and October, they were riddled with irregularities. Yet Martelly seated the new Parliament on January 11, and despite domestic calls to postpone the January 24 presidential runoff, he plans to move forward. But the election will be a charade: Jude Célestin, the second-place finisher in October’s first-round presidential elections, has indicated that he will not participate in the runoff, which he said “isn’t an election but a selection,” leaving the

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  • LAUREN CARASIK is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Western New England University School of Law.
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