Political Posturing Complicates Vote for Dual-Citizenship
- Tuesday, May 03, 2011 1:21 PM
The 1st Regular Session of the 49th Legislature opened Monday night during as the National Assembly brought together 54 Deputies and 17 Senators. The first order of the day is to amend the Constitution of 1987 which will decide if dual-citizenship will be made a reality, or continue to be prohibited.
The National Assembly was scheduled to meet at 11 a.m., according to Le Nouvelliste , but the session didn't commence until 5 p.m.
An earlier decision by members of the INITE party to not participate, due to the ongoing disputes of the electoral council, forced the Office of the National Assembly to wait for the party and its allies to arrive.
In solidarity to the minority group of the Chamber of Deputies, the minority group of the Senate, led by Senators EvalliÃ¨re Beauplan and Youri Latortue, shunned Monday afternoon's meeting which lasted barely 15 minutes.
The minority Deputies have raised doubts about the legitimacy of House Leader, Saurel Jacinthe, a defector of Fusion des Sociaux-Democrates.
The Deputies claim that the session held to put Jacinthe into the position of leadership, was held without quorum. The members say only 46 Deputies were present for the vote while the number required for a quorum is 50. A claim that contradicts the House Leader who said that there were more than 50 members in the room.
Another session in the National Assembly is scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. In this session members will perform the act of amending the Constitution of 1987.
This time with much more difficulty as 2/3 of each house is need; 66 Deputies and 20 Senators.
But President of the Chamber of Deputies, Jacinthe, is optimistic and believe that members of the legislature are anxious for this meeting saying "the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies are ready for the meeting on the amendment of the Constitution", he said.
The Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, Ronald LarÃ¨che, believes that the Haitian population will hold accountable Senators and Deputies, if they decide to not fulfill the quorum.
Senator Joseph Lambert said "if members of Parliament do not come to the meeting, history will remember their decision," adding "the Haitian diaspora will identify by itself those who decided to defeat the amendment of the Constitution."
The draft amendment to the 1987 Constitution accepted by the 48th legislature must be voted before the May 9, the closing of the 1st session of the 49th legislature, which has already been delayed 4 months.
Time is against the parliamentarians and President RenÃ© PrÃ©val's successor, Michel Martelly, both very attached to the amendment of the Constitution. After the inauguration, scheduled for May 14, no amendments can be made.
Related 04.26.2011: 79 Deputies Take the Oath of Office and Begin Sessions
Related 04.14.2011: Commotion over the 49th Legislature and Pending Constitutional Amendments
Related 04.08.2011: Senate President: Dual-Citizenship Out of Martelly's Hands
Related 04.06.2011: Minister Confident Dual-Citizenship Will Be Approved
Source: Le Nouvelliste