Haiti: Lawmaker Denounces Pressure to Appoint Electoral Council Members
- Sunday, July 15, 2012 2:24 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - The First Secretary of the Great Body that is the Senate, Steven Benoit (Ouest/Alternative) characterized the letter by President Martelly as a lack of respect for another power, in requesting that the legislature contribute within 8 days (now 4) its 3 members of the Permanent Electoral Council.
Indeed, Senator Benoit was speaking on Radio Magik 9 on Friday about a letter, dated July 9th, in which the Head of State asked that the upper and lower house of Parliament to meet with urgency to deliver its three members that will sit on the nation's electoral council.
Senator Benoit is known for speaking against the abuse of power that the Executive government of Haiti often demonstrates and in this case, although Benoit is correct that the executive can not place an ultimatum on the legislature, it is also correct that the Head of State ensure the proper functioning of the government.
The Martelly-Lamothe administration hopes to hold elections before the end of 2012; elections that should have been held in November 2011 and have costed a third of the senate to become inactive due to the end of their mandates and over 100 municipal officials, mayors, to hold their seats long beyond their terms.
But Senator Benoit did pass blame to his colleagues in the legislature because for more than two months the Senate has not been able to hold any sessions. Benoit, for one reason, said that members of parliament spend more time trying to get into the good graces of the executive at the expense of parliament.
"They participate in all meetings of the National Palace or the Prime Ministry. Sometimes they are scrambling to sit closer to the President or Prime Minister, while they systematically refuse to attend meetings..." - Steven Benoit
Steven Benoit attested to another reason, the fact that Senators who opposed the publication of the amendment of the Constitution or that have other grievances are refusing to come to meetings to defend their views in debates.
Senator John William Jeanty (Nippes/Konba), one of the strongest opponents to the publication of the amended Constitution, has promised to reverse quorum, by leaving senate meetings to not allow the parliament to vote its representatives to the Permanent Electoral Council.
The senate has had a very fragile quorum with only 20 out of 30 senators and the requirement that 2/3s be present to decide on CEP members.
The Judiciary, through the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power (CSPJ) began its process of selecting CEP members on Friday and will begin deliberating its decisions on Tuesday July 17.
The Executive presumably has selected its 3 members.
The CEP requires that all 9 members be selected by all three branches of the government, each selecting three. It is beginning to be discussed that the CEP will only seat six members without representatives from the Legislature as the government strives to hold elections in 2012.
Related 07.12.2012: Haiti: CSPJ First Case, One of Insubordination
Related 07.10.2012: Haiti Gov't Believes Elections Possible in 2012
Related 07.03.2012: An Independent Judicial System Becomes Operational in Haiti
Related 06.28.2012: Haiti: Senate Begins Talks on Electoral Council Members
Source: Le Nouvelliste