Int'l Community Supports Permanent Electoral Council but Haitians Now Resistant
- Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:09 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - The former Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Haiti, Carlo De Filippi said on Monday that the EU would only agree to finance elections in Haiti if a Permanent Electoral Council was set up. Rightly so, the EU considers any other option as beyond what is prescribed by the Haitian Constitution.
The U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Pamela White, also said her country is expecting the establishment of the Permanent Electoral Council rather than the Provisional Electoral Council which has plagued Haiti for years with fraud and corruption.
VP of Senate Andris Riche against Permanent Electoral Council
Deputy Markens Sigue for Permanent CEP but sees it impossible to form
Deputy Rodon A. Bien-Aime against involvement of International Community
Report by Jean Thony Lorthe for Vision 2000
featuring former PAP Mayor Evans Paul and Colonel Himmler Rebu
The international community, out of its silence to support the formation of a permanent CEP in Haiti comes at a time when the Haitian people are increasingly growing resistant to the institution.
Human rights organizations, parliamentarians, religious institutions and members of civil society who have fought for 25 years to have a permanent council as the Constitution of Haiti requires are losing favor for it because of a process that has been fundamentally flawed from its commencement.
Perception of an Electoral Takeover
Early after Haitian President Michel Martelly retracted a decree suspending amendments made to the Constitution of Haiti accepted by Parliament on May 2011 before he was inaugurated, Senator Jean-Charles Moise (Nord/Inite), an ardent opponent of the president, began warning that the Head of State would attempt to establish his will on democratic institutions.
Many did not take Senator Moise's declarations seriously, as he is often outspoken against the presidency and without substance, but four strong-arm motions towards establishing the Permanent Electoral Council have fueled speculation and resistance to establishing the council.
Motion 1. The newly appointed Superior Council of the Judiciary's (CSPJ) chairman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Anel Joseph Alexis, submitted three names, accepted by the National Palace, to represent the judicial branch on the nine-member electoral council. The selections were decided in the presence of four members of the nine-member CSPJ that included Chairman Alexis - who would usually not vote unless in the case of a deadlock.
Since this "arbitrary" decision and its acceptance by the Head of State, a resolution by four council members asking Chairman Alexis to retract the decision has been ignored. Two officials on the CSPJ, one council member, have resigned from their positions and unanimously, the presidents of the bar associations in Haiti have signed and sent a resolution to the House of Representatives to indict and impeach the Chief Justice. The legitimacy of the CSPJ is in question.
Motion 2. The Presidency named a Director General to the Permanent Electoral Council. This motion is flawed because the Permanent Electoral Council is an independent institution and the Executive cannot name a Director General. The Director General is to be chosen by the nine members of the CEP after all have been named and seated on the council.
Motion 3. The Executive has not released the three names of the persons it has chosen to represent itself on the Permanent CEP. The Executive has said publicly that it has decided on its three members but its unwillingness to make the names public before the installation ceremony is opening the process up for speculation. Many wonder if the members selected are being kept hidden from the Haitian people because they are controversial and would provoke criticism.
Motion 4. The two ultimatums that have come from the National Palace to the Legislature to appoint its three members in 8 days "or else", even given the three aforementioned motions that cast doubt in the democracy of the process, are creating more resistance to the Permanent Electoral Council.
Because elections were not held back in November 2011 to renew 10 senators, the senate has had a fragile quorum of 20 who have not been able to meet with deputies to decide on three members who will permanently hold positions of authority in Haiti's elections for years to come.
The Senate President Simon Desras (Centre/Lavni) and the First Secretary Steven Benoit (Ouest/Alternative) have both sent open letters to President Martelly saying that given the current situation in the house and in the process of establishing the Permanent Electoral Council, he should end his project to establish it and instead for a Provisional Electoral Council "of consensus" to hold elections to complete the senate before establishing a permanent one.
Related 08.11.2012: Haiti: Human Rights Representative on Judicial Council Resigns
Related 07.25.2012: Haiti: Judiciary Submits 3 Names for Permanent Electoral Council
Related 07.15.2012: Haiti: Judiciary Begins Process of Appointing Electoral Council Members