Haiti: President Martelly Tries to Build Confidence for Elections
- Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:05 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - On Tuesday, President Michel Martelly sought to build confidence for the partial, 6-member, Permanent Electoral Council by holding a meeting with leaders of political parties and grassroots organizations.
Three of the largest political parties were not present for the meeting, held at the convention center at Hotel Karibe. The largest political party, Inite, was not invited and two others, The People's Struggle Organization (OPL) and the National Progressive Democratic Coalition (RPND) boycotted the event.
Along with members of parliament who did not participate, the political parties, attending and not-attending, believed the meeting to be a mascarade, only to give the appearance that the Chief Executive cared to hear their point of view. Many left feeling that was not the case.
President Michel Martelly made opening statements where he defended, the decision to establish a Permanent Electoral Council, a decision that is contested for only consisting of 6-members, while the council should consist of 9.
Martelly had to defend his acceptance of the 3 electoral council members selected by the Superior Council of the Judiciary under circumstances not conforming with democratic principles. The selection by the judicial body was made not with the majority of councilors present and it was nearly a month later when the decision was endorsed by a fifth judicial councilor to make a majority of four including the chairman of the council. It has the appearance that the judiciary would be persuadable by bribes.
The electoral council lacks representation of three members from the legislature, the selection of the executive of former Minister of Justice, Josue Pierre-Louis, who resigned for having arbitrarily called for the arrest of an active member of parliament, and the poor timing of the establishment of a "Tet Kale" political party, named after the president, all have help grow doubt in the fairness of upcoming and future elections to be conducted by the 6-member electoral council.
The title by Le Nouvelliste writer, Roberson Alphonse best described Tuesday night's meeting: "Martelly: Permanent Dialogue on the Permanent Electoral Council."
There was much discussion but not much opportunity to compromise for those who oppose the partial electoral council, who were in the many. Evans Paul, the former Mayor of Port-au-Prince, who was present at the meeting, said of the event as President Martelly's third carnival of the year.
People argued that speaking time was not given to those who opposed the president's decision but to the few, close advisers to the Head of State, who supported it.
In the end, the President promised to have more dialogue to try and bring more people to agree with his electoral council.
Related 08.16.2012: Haiti: Without Legislature, Permanent Electoral Council Established
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Related 08.13.2012: Haiti: Senator Benoit Open Letter to President Martelly on Electoral Crisis
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Source: Le Nouvelliste