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Haiti’s political stalemate

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The political stalemate continues with President Jovenel Moïse and nominated Prime Minister, Fritz William Michel in their attempt to have the legislature vote on the choice of Prime Minister as well as the corresponding cabinet. The PM nominee is intensifying negotiations with major political actors by addressing some of the grievances that are delaying the possibility formation of a new government. The administration is still facing various problems of clearance for some of the ministerial appointees.  The special committee charged with investigating the ministers and issuing clearance failed to clear four (4) nominees because of their inability to receive a certificate of clearance from the tax courts, Cour Supérieure des Comptes et du Contentieux Administratif (CSCCA). These include Ms. Marjorie Alexandre Brunache, slated for the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religion, Ms. Carline Choute, nominated to head the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Civic Action, Mr. Padrel Herriquez and Ms. Marie Faustine Roxane Kerby Hurley, both for Culture and Communication and Tourism respectively.


One of the Ministers’ with irregularities in their clearance process has asked for her name to be withdrawn from consideration for the position. In a letter dated August 23, 2019 to the Prime Minister, exactly a month from her nomination, Ms. Brunache, daughter of former Prime Minister Alexandre decided to withdraw her name for consideration for the post, citing personal reasons for her decision not to be able to serve her country. She was rumored to have failed to obtain clearance from her former stint as the Consul General in Boston, and with little support among the lawmakers who are to vote on her confirmation.


Meanwhile, the President of the House of Deputies Gary Bodeau announced that the parliamentary session that was supposed to take place to vote on the policies of nominated Prime Minister Fritz William Michel has been postponed, without giving any reasons for this decision. There were doubts cast on the possibility of such a session given the earlier action taken by the legislature to veto the law demanding an investigation and possible impeachment or reprimand of the sitting president Jovenel Moïse. The Administration is said to be waiting patiently and confident that the legislature will choose a different day on which to vote on the Prime Minister’s policy positions. According to the Secretary of State for Communication, Eddy Jackson Alexis, the Prime Minister is convinced that the legislature will do the right thing so that an empowered and legitimate government can address the myriad of issues facing the country.


Furthermore, a cabinet meeting, with mostly outgoing ministers was convened by President Moïse, de facto Prime Minister Jean Michel Lapin, Ministers Fritz Caillot, Jean Marie Raynaldo Brunet, Ronald Grey Décembre, Edmond Bocchit, and Jean Roudy Aly in order to address security issues in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, back to school and impending hurricane Dorian which is expected to make landfall by Wednesday or Thursday. In a letter to the press, from the President’s office, an official emergency management plan has been put in place by both the office of Civic Protection and the Ministry of Interior for disaster readiness and preparation measures in anticipation of the Hurricane, according to the director of the DPC, Dr. Jerry Chandler. On the issue of back to school, the letter confirms that measures are equally being taken by the Ministry of Education, Justice and Public Safety working together to ensure a smooth start of the school year. It should be noted that these cabinet ministers are not legally exercising their duties and the meeting could be seen as violating the legal precepts of governance. President Moïse feels it is his duty to make sure parents and children are safe on Monday September 9th, when school year is scheduled to start, and to make sure the criminals are no longer in control of the neighborhoods.


In other news, fuel shortage is causing a lot of headache to drivers in the country, especially public transportation operators who are increasingly finding it hard to find gas in the metropolitan area. With most gas stations closed and fuel sellers predicting rationing of gas for the next three weeks, the situation is beginning to cause anger in the populace who daily scout the capital with containers, looking for fuel which because of the scarcity has increased in price in the black market. While some see the rationing to slow down consumption and assure no rupture in supply, others see a deliberate attempt to increase the prize of gas to benefit the rich and powerful.


According to health experts in the western part of the country, La Direction sanitaire de l’Ouest (DSO), there is a dengue fever scare in the area as 3,500 cases of the mosquito borne disease have been reported in the Dominican Republic. With such prevalence in the neighboring country, there’s the fear that propagation in Haiti will only be a matter of time. The authorities have warned that they are closely watching the disease and will take necessary measures in the event of reported cases in the country.


Finally, Sweet Mickey musical group led by former President Michel Martelly, will not be allowed to perform at the West Indian Day parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn New York on Monday, September 2, 2019, Labor Day. The Haitian community in New York wrote a letter to the mayor, Bill de Blasio, asking him to deny the group from participation in this ever-popular parade that celebrates workers and workers from the Caribbean and their contribution to the city. The letter, written in both French and English expressed the sentiment that Michel Martelly’s presence at the cultural festival will be an insult to women as they do not want to be subjected to his misogynistic lyrics and performances that attack women, his political opponents and critics. But in a different letter signed by the President of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Jean G. Joseph, all applications for participation in the parade have ended and there are only four (4) Haitian groups allowed to perform: T-Vice, Tony Mix, Kreyòl la and Bamboche.

Dela Harlley


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