Early Signs of a New Political Crisis in Haiti, 2012
The Sentinel Staff
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:32 AM';
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - Ten of thirty senators have terms ending in 2012 and the Martelly-Conille government has not taken any steps conducive to holding fair and credible elections.
In April of 2011, then-president-elect Michel Martelly called for the voice of the people to be heard by the power of their votes as the world observed a presidential and legislative election season wrought with fraud, controversy even and including an arrest warrant against the President of the Provisional Electoral Council, Gaillot Dorsinvil.
The "Provisional" Electoral Council, is an unconstitutional body. It was set-up by the former President Rene Preval under "emergency" circumstances which allowed him to choose all nine (9) members of the council which has nearly unreproachable power over elections in Haiti.
The "Permanent" Electoral Council is what the Constitution of Haiti prescribes. In this council, three (3) members of the council are chosen by the executive, three (3) members are chosen by the legislative and three (3) members are chosen by the judicial branch.
Senator Kely C. Bastien (Nord/Inite), former President of the National Assembly, chastised the Martelly-Conille government on Monday for not publishing the constitutional amendments accepted by parliamentarians nearly either (8) months ago.
"Nothing is preventing President Martelly from publishing the amendments to the constitution. The publication of this text would have facilitated the establishment of the Permanent Electoral Council through the submission of three members from each branch of government..." - Senator Kely Bastien
For Senator Bastien, the Martelly-Conille government is incapable of managing the priorities of the nation simultaneously.
"Since its installation, the government tends to address issues on a case by case basis."
The Executive Secretary of the Civil Society Initiative (CSI), Rosny Desroches, chimed in saying the same thing:
"I do not see what prevents the publication of the amended text of the Constitution which would have facilitated the creation of the Permanent Electoral Council to organize elections for the third renewal of the Senate..." - Rosny Desroches
Experts estimate a time frame of four (4) to six (6) months to hold the elections and declare a winner, given things go well and there are no challenges.
To Desroches the administrations actions are reminiscent of 1997, back when then-President Rene Preval did not hold elections on time and allowed the mandates of some senators to end. Without holding elections and declaring the parliament dysfunctional, the Haitian state took a step back, the government was ineffective.
Defend Haiti has been keeping count. Tuesday is the 192nd day that the nation of Haiti has operated under a Constitution that is no longer legitimate.
It is arguable that the entire Martelly-Conille government is not legitimate as the process for installing a prime minister and council of ministers did not go according to the amended version of the Constitution, accepted on May 13 2011.
Senator Bastien says he expects the amended Constitution to be published by the end of December. Many doubt there is enough time to establish a permanent electoral council and hold elections by the time a third of the senate runs out of mandate.Senators with expiring terms.
Jean Hector Anacacis (Ouest/Inite)
C. Kely Bastien (Nord/Inite)
EvaliÃ¨re Beauplan (Nord-Ouest/Pont)
Yvon Buissereth (Sud/Inite)
Nenel Cassy (Nippes/Inite)
Michel ClÃ©ria (Grande Anse/Alternative)
Rodolphe Joazile (Nord/Alternative)
Joseph Lambert (Sud-Est/Inite)
Youri Latortue (Artibonite/AAA)The Constitution of Haiti
The Permanent Electoral Council is responsible for organizing and controlling with complete independence all electoral procedures throughout the territory of the Republic until the results of the election are announced.
The Council also drafts the Electoral Bill that it submits to the Executive Branch for the necessary purposes.
The Council sees to it that the electoral lists are kept up-to-date.
The Permanent Electoral Council consists of nine (9) members chosen from a list of three (3) names proposed by each of the Departmental Assemblies:
3 are chosen by the Executive Branch;
3 are chosen by the Supreme Court;
3 are chosen by the National Assembly.
The above-mentioned organs see to it as far as possible that each of the Departments are represented.Related 11.08.2011: Human Rights Group Urges Haitian President to Publish Constitutional Amendments
Related 10.24.2011: Political Leaders Call on Executive to Set Date for 2011 Elections
Related 06.10.2011: Minority Party, Repons Peyizan Preparing for Senate and Local Elections