Three secretaries of state not Haitian
“Extremely complex” situation for Laurent Lamothe with the Senate
By staff (jep kft)
English | French
SEE UPDATES BELOW.
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 7, 2012 — Three state secretaries in Michel Martelly’s cabinet have a foreign nationality, according to statements from Senator Jean Charles Moise on March 7 about the preliminary results of a study by the senate commission of inquiry to which he belongs.
Senator Moise informed the press that:
- Secretary of State for the Interior Georges Racine is a U.S. citizen. [Recall that MP Romial Smith, Chair of the Committee on Local Authority in the House of Representatives accused Secretary of the Interior Georges Racine of being behind the wave of dismissals of Haiti's Mayors and violating the law. DC]
- Secretary of State for Culture and Heritag, Elsa Baussan Noel is a Spanish citizen.
- Secretary of State for Higher Education Jean Claude Francois is a Canadian citizen.
The Haitian Constitution in force does not recognize dual citizenship and does not allow a person holding a foreign nationality to exercise high public office.
Senator Jean Charles Moise also explained that prime minister designate Laurent Lamothe filed a passport before the commission of inquiry dating from 2005 to 2010. The commission does not have the travel documents for Lamothe after 2010, said the senator.
He made known that
“The situation of of the prime minister designate is extremely complex,”
and announced that a letter was sent to Laurent Lamothe requesting the missing documents.
Moise recalled that there are serious doubts about the nationality of head of state Martelly.
In addition he said that the committee has decided to set aside the investigation into the nationality of outgoing Prime Minister Garry Conille.
UPDATE March 8, 2012: Official announcement of the resignations of three members of the Senate Commission of Inquiry on dual citizenships, Joseph Lambert, Youri Latortue and Yvon Buissereth. At a press conference in the afternoon, Martelly, who has refused to submit his travel documents to the Haitian Senate Commission of Inquiry, delivers eight passports to Catholic Bishop Pierre-André Dumas and asks U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten to vouch that he is a Haitian citizen.
UPDATE March 28, 2012: Minister of Tourism Stephanie B. Villedrouin is a U.S. citizen who regularly votes in elections abroad, according to a document presented to the Senate investigative committee by Member of the Lower House Arnel Belizaire.