top of page
  • Writer's pictureGuyler C Delva

ANALYSIS Steps to take towards ending Haiti crisis


- CARICOM Talks Not Likely to Bear Fruit

By Joseph Guyler C. Delva


Thur, Sept 7, 2023

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN)-

Haiti has been facing, over the past few years, a sucession of misdeeds, which has resulted in a never-ending social and political stalemate, prompting world and regional organizations to engage in a series of initiatives aimed at convincing crisis stakeholders to resolve their differences, as the impoverished Caribbean country plunges every day deeper into the abyss.

The United Nations Security Council, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have been trying their best to determine Haitian politicians to agree on a number of essential steps towards ending the gridlock.

Several political and civil society groups have made several agreement proposals, but after multiple attempts protagonists have so far failed to find common ground to move forward.

Whole neighborhoods, in the metropolitan area of the capital Port-au-Prince, are literally run by heavily armed gangs terrorizing, killing people, including women and children who are often raped in total impunity.

The evident lack of will, on the part of political actors to overcome their ego and put Haiti's interests first, seems to be the main reason why a consensual solution has not yet been found. There's a crucial lack of patriotism on the part of Haitian actors; and there's nothing the international community can do about it.

The main challenge now remains how to get main protagonists to agree to take the unavoidable steps towards paving the way for the holding of free and fair presidential, legislative and local elections.

But before all that and to facilitate the process, Prime Minister Ariel Henry should open up the government to other main parties (at least those that wish so and could help make a difference), in order to turn it into a real inclusive and consensus government.

A number of people keep saying there should be an authority, an institution to assume the powers of the president. Of course, the constitution has designated the council of ministers, which assumes such powers (art. 149 of the current constitution).

But one may say when the vaccuum occurs in the forth year of the president's 5-year term - as it was the case with the late president Jovenel Moise - it's parliament (the National Assembly, a joint session of both chambers) that should appoint a new president. But there's no parliament in place. So the alternative closest to the terms of the current constitution, remains the provision that allows for the council of ministers under the leadership of the Prime minister to assume the powers of the president.

So the stand -by those who pretend that, to organize elections, there should necessarily be a president or a makeshift presidential body to call the people to their comitia - is constitutionally unfounded.

At least 7 steps should be taken before Haiti may go back to constitutional order with a legitimate government, an elected parliament and a functioning judiciary:

1) Special effort with the police, supported by a foreign rapid military force to help restore security, which is a sine qua non condition before any electoral campaign may be launched and before any good elections may take place

2) Consensus government that includes opposition parties, representatives of the different proposed agreements and credible representatives of civil society

3) The appointment of an inclusive and non-partisan electoral council to organize credible, free, fair and democratic elections

4) The government should be obligated to consult with the High Council of the Transition (HCT) before taking any major decision affecting the country's governance and future

5) Then the newly appointed electoral council or a special constituent assembly composed of credible and non-controversial personalities would propose a new constitution, which would eventually be sanctioned by a popular vote in the course of 2024, if every thing goes well

6) Then general elections could be held in October of 2025 to allow for a new parliament and the new president to be sworn in respectively in January and February 2026

7- Justices - recently appointed at the Supreme Court by the Council of Ministers of Government, the highest political body in Haiti right now - would remain in office until parliament and the government duly appoint new justices who would be sworn in subsequently.

CARICOM TALKS WON'T BEAR FRUIT

There's one thing that is clear: there will be no agreement among the Haitian politicians and other actors that I know so well.

Of course, I wish they could prove me wrong. But unfortunately I know it's going to end in a chaos as I said.

The only way out is for the international community to help the country with the security situation, to facilitate the implimentation of the steps mentioned above, particularly the holding of a credible and internationally monitored electoral process.

Those, who believe they have to go to elections to access to power, will agree to participate, while a number of others - who know for certain they don't stand a chance of winning fair, honest and democratic elections - will sure stay away, and they will totally be within their rights. Nobody should force them if they don't wish to.

Haitian authorities and the international community have one obligation: make sure the process is open, secured, participative, non-partisan, nonfraudulent, fair, honest and democratic.

The rest will be determined by voters. No one really needs an agreement to accept to go to elections. You just need to be sure the process fair; and you make sure you can afford a good campaign to convince voters.

And I believe the OAS, the European Union, the UN and other independent observers will be very willing to help with all these aspects.

Many of the actors discussing today with a CARICOM Eminent Persons delegation believe the only way for them to access power is through a transition, decided in small groups, by people with loud voices, but who do not really represent the will of the majority of the haitian people, the suffering and forgotten masses.

Comments


Top Stories

bottom of page