Haiti Paralyzed Without a Prime Minister, Who is to Blame?

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011 11:52

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Nearly 40 days into the mandate of Michel Martelly's presidency the state remains paralyzed without a prime minister in place.

The previous administration ratified its choice for Prime Minister, Jacques-Edouard Alexis, on the 25th day of former President, Rene Preval's second term. Now, it seems, at the very least the Haitian people will have to add another week, or most likely more, in wait for a complete government.

Who is to blame for this situation?

The three parties involved in this scenario, the President, the Prime Minister-designate and Parliament, each are getting their fair share of product from the rumor mill.

The Parliament of Haiti?

Parliament, having the vote to ratify or not ratify is taking the heap of the blame, on the day after.

Released Wednesday, the early morning after by Pro-Martelly press, an article that claims the decision to not ratify the President's pick, Daniel-Gérard Rouzier, for Prime Minister, to be completely political.

The writer of the piece claims a $379 million contract with construction firms from the Dominican Republic to be at the heart of the decision. It was a deal set up by current Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and the INITE Party. The article speaks of corruption, under the table dealings and even invokes the assassination of the former BNC Chair, Guiteau Toussaint in the mix.

As juicy as these claims may be, even if it is the morning after, they do not address the serious offenses of tax evasion, or Rouzier's office in defending Jamaican interests as the nation's honorary consul to Haiti, or documents missing from the designated's dossier that puts doubt as to his residency.

With all these things in the latter taken to account, it is difficult to put blame on Parliament; at least not Parliament alone.

Daniel-Gérard Rouzier?

If the aforementioned inconsistencies in Rouzier's dossier aren't enough to pass blame there were some mishappenings during his stint as the probable PM. Happenings which could have attributed to the vote not to ratify; minding that the vote not to ratify is still a vote of judgment, not technicalities.

The former designated prime minister made enemies far too early, before even submitting his pieces for review.

In an Associated Press interview Rouzier claimed he wanted to scrap the IHRC, co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Although it was a statement that went over well within the Haitian community, it was dicey and a bit arrogant due to the fact that there could be politics at play. Clinton has cronies in parliament.

Matters were worsened when Rouzier announced a draft plan to remove the Ministry of Women and the Ministry of Haitians Living Abroad. Men in positions of power are wise to not offend women and the diaspora community, although politically powerless, is the back bone of the nation and Rouzier's statements injured this much needed element of Haitian society.

And even furthermore, Rouzier's reversal of the decision to scrap the IHRC and the Women's Ministry probably labeled him a waffler. Then when the list of possible heads of the cabinet were released, the Women's Ministry, which was off, than on, ended up off again. And the Diaspora Ministry, which was assumed off as it caused much upheaval from leaders outside of Haiti, was on.

The inconsistencies in the designated's dossier along with these changes of stances, amount to one who is easily swayed. With residency, and Jamaica an issue, this did not help.

This is not to say Rouzier would have been a bad Prime Minister. It just didn't help him get ratified.

President Michel Martelly

The easiest blame that could be put on the president is on the issue of vetting. The most important decision any president must make is his selection for number 2 and in this regard, it seems the president had not done work due.

Rumors still persist that Rouzier and Martelly were childhood friends but in video and in a few conversations the President said that was not the case.

It has been seen that the President also is not in good harmony with Parliament. Back room negotiations, concessions and the matter of annulling the constitution could be included in the faults of Martelly.

Regardless of the intricacies in trying to place his man of choice at the Prime Minister position, the President, the captain of the ship, takes the bulk of the blame.

It is, after all, his political capital that suffers and program of change that will hurt.

In the end, these are hopefully the last comments regarding Daniel-Gérard Rouzier as Prime Minister. In this vacuum of executive power, the nation must move forward to place a new designate on the table.

Haitians all over the world await the official start of the Martelly administration.

Related 21.06.2011: Parliament Rejects Daniel-Gérard Rouzier for Prime Minister
Related 20.06.2011: National Assembly, Divided over Rouzier PM Ratification
Related 20.06.2011: Tentative List of Ministers for the Martelly-Rouzier Administration
Related 17.06.2011: Parliament: Rouzier Made $1,250,000 in 2010 and Paid Only $600 in Taxes
Related 16.06.2011: Food for the Poor, 25 Years in Haiti, Former Chairman Rouzier Ratification Stalled
Related 10.06.2011: Daniel Rouzier Clarifies Circumstances Regarding Owned Properties and Taxes
Related 06.06.2011: In Sudden Shift, Rouzier Promises to Keep Ministry for Women
Related 01.06.2011: Prime Minister Daniel-Gérard Rouzier, Thanks to Preval?
Related 26.05.2011: Rouzier Presents Plan for Removing Diaspora and Women Ministries
Related 25.05.2011: Rouzier Says He Will Throw Out Clinton-Chaired Reconstruction Commission