Martelly: We are Under the 1987 Unamended Constitution
- Tuesday, June 07, 2011 9:04 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - After days of rumors that President Michel Martelly was intending to not publish the amended version of the Consitution of 1987 which was voted by the National Assembly on May 9, Martelly told reporters at an event on Monday, what the real situation was.
On Sunday, by presidential order, the erroneous constitution signed by former President Rene Preval on May 13 was repealed because it was not in perfect according with the constitution voted on by Parliament.
Following the presidential order, published in the official journal of the executive, Le Moniteur, a brouhaha erupted in the press and within members of Parliament because the President did not explicitly publish the Constitution to which the nation would be under. Some in the press had reported the nation to be returning to the Constitution of 1987, without amendments. For some in Parliament they accused the President of trying to make his own constitution and publish it. Deputy Saurel Jacinthe, on live radio, said that the President was trying to removed Parliament with his new constitution.
On Monday every thing came clear and from the mouth of the President himself as he explained that the Constitution he was given to publish, still contained errors. He explained this as one of the errors:
"There are some errors that are grave, for example, I believe one of the errors are where the majority party has the right to pick the prime minister..."
"But you should have an absolute majority to be able to choose the prime minister but we looked as saw the word "absolute" had disappeared."
"That means to say if today I were to publish it like that, a party that doesn't have the absolute majority could go ahead and choose the prime minister."
"Because the word, the "absolute" is not there..."
"But this did not come off as an error because an error happens once..."
"Now we, ourselves, we don't want to accuse anyone, we just say there are some errors and we encourage them [to be fixed] before it is published..."
"And the people that are working on the document for me say there are more errors this time, then the time before that was a fake one."
"It is reported, as of right now we are on the Constitution of 1987 (unamended) until the good text comes without errors so that it can be published."
The President further explained that the process of publishing the amended constitution should be a quick process, insinuating that the process had gone off protocol at the fault of Parliament.
The Parliament is being accused of not furnishing the proper constitution with signatures and correct text but they contend that there was an agreement that the President would wait until the ratification of the Prime Minister, allowing it to proceed according to the erroneous version and then they would publish the Constitution into Le Moniteur.
Law Expert Says Amended Constitution is Imminent
The Chairman of the Port-au-Prince Bar, Mr. Gervais Charles, said Saturday the mere implementation of the presidential decree makes the publishing of the constitutional amendments voted on May 9 in National Assembly imminent. The manner in which it was published in Le Moniteur, relating the disputed constitutional amendments to those published on May 13.
The Doctor of Law Charles, who is also close to the Head of State, sought to reassure Saurel Jacinthe, the President of the Lower House, who openly expressed surprise that the President of the Republic failed the commitment with them to publish the "authentic May 9" Constitution. Jacinthe has been going so far as accuse the President of malice, in intent to cancel the amendments totally.
Gervais Charles says that there is no way the amendment voted on May 9 can be canceled. "There is no problem in that the two decisions (cancel the errors, and accept the new) are taken one after the other, even if the ideal was that they are at the same time", noted Mr. Charles. However, it notes that, in the meantime, the 1987 Constitution is in force in its initial content.
Related 06.05.2011: Did President Martelly Return Haiti to Unamended Constitution?
Related 06.01.2011: Prime Minister Ratification Process Postponed
Related 06.02.2011: According to Martelly the Nation Faces Three Crises
Source: Radio Kiskeya