UPDATE #3, FEBRUARY 14, 2016. As a Valentine’s day gift to itself and the international community, Haiti’s fraudulent parliament elected Jocelerme Privert as Interim President of the Republic; he is the same speaker of the senate who signed the deal with OAS and Martelly on February 5, 2016 and who has since then headed the search committee for an interim president. During the deliberations, which required two rounds of voting for a total of three candidates, he also voted for himself. Sounds just like the perfect guy for OAS to make sure there are no free and fair elections in Haiti.
Jocelerme Privert holds as a badge of honor the fact that he was imprisoned in 2004-2006, without noting that this was for allegedly ordering a massacre in the city of Saint-Marc. The 62-year-old, who was trained as an accountant, has always stayed close to the money. Before his senate gig, he was director general of taxation, secretary of state for finance, and minister of the interior in Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s administration, during which the country’s customs tax collection was outsourced to the Swiss company, Societe Generale de Surveillance SA (SGS). Privert took an IMF-sponsored course in public finance in Washington, DC in 1992.
At the beginning of the session on February 13, 2016 in which Jocelerme Privert was (s)elected interim president of Haiti, for his safety, the moderating senator demanded that all the MPs and senators be disarmed. According to Haiti Libre, one of the ballots was marked “merde.”
UPDATE #3, FEBRUARY 12, 2016. Haiti’s fraudulent parliament is already imploding. It received only five applications for interim president, most of which lacked the $10,000-payment that it required. The parliament adjourned on February 11 without voting on these applications. The majority of the senators and MPs now say that they believe the parliament cannot judge the process and also be part of it. Political organizations including the G-8* and Lavalas are taking to the streets again, starting today, to protest against the OAS-brokered deal of February 5 and the plan to install a senator or MP as interim president.
UPDATE #2, February 11, 2016. With regard to the registration process for Haiti’s interim presidency, ex-Senator and LAPEH (political party) Director, Anacacis Jean Hector, expressed today his outrage that the parliament not only wants “$10,000, but bribes will also be needed to get the votes.” An even broader group of politicians than the G-8*, called the G-30, is preparing to file a judicial complaint against the prime minister and the speakers of the House and Senate for signing the unconstitutional agreement.
UPDATE #1, February 10, 2016. In a travesty worthy of its cover of Carnival 2016, Haiti’s bogus parliament has already named its 15-member committee of 6 senators and 9 MPs who will pick an interim president. Candidates have been asked to bring 9 documents, including a curriculum vitae, to the parliament between Wednesday and Friday, February 10-12. In what looks like a tactic to create divisions in the G-8, and between the G-8 and Fanmi Lavalas, Jude Celestin’s political party (LAPEH) and five others in the G-8 are not represented in this supposedly impartial bicameral committee of 15. Moise Jean-Charles’ party (Pitit Dessalines) is represented by 2 members, and Sauveur Pierre-Etienne’s party (OPL) is represented by 1. Fanmi Lavalas, which is not part of the G-8 but often collaborates with it, is represented by 3 people. The committee of 15 said it would announce its choice for interim president on February 14. Meanwhile, Wednesday, February 10 has been declared a holiday so that the local press won’t be watching.
Press release done in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on February 6, 2016 for the G-8 by Samuel Madistin
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
The G-8 condemns the anti-popular and anti-democratic character of the alleged agreement between President Michel Martelly and some legislators.
The group of presidential candidates engaged in the electoral process, commonly called Group of Eight (G-8)*, was informed by the press about the signing of an alleged agreement between President Michel Joseph Martelly, and Senator Jocelerme Privert and MP Cholzer Chancy acting on behalf of the Parliament, which is part of the problem.
The G-8 notes that this alleged agreement attempts to validate the 2015 elections as if they were regular, without taking into account the popular protests that have resulted in numerous casualties and damages to the society. This is a provocation, an unacceptable disregard for the popular and peasant masses, as well as the middle class, by the signatories of the alleged agreement.
The G-8 condemns the crude maneuvers of certain players who, in an attempt to justify their undertaking, have sickeningly and shamelessly conducted against the G-8 a disinformation campaign, which claimed that a meeting took place between the G-8 and President Michel Joseph Martelly to dissolve the parliament. The G-8 is not an underground group: all our positions are public.
Critics of the G-8 also suggest that the G-8 supports the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Jules Cantave, whose mandate expired in December 2015. This is also false. The G-8 has never mentioned the name of a judge in its proposals but has always wanted [the interim president] to be “the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and if not possible, the second-placed justice or the most senior judge.” What Supreme Court justice with an expired mandate may continue to serve and make decisions on behalf of the republic, the law, and justice? What would be the outcome of this judge’s decisions? What nonsense!
They have also claimed that Supreme Court judges who have served for six, seven years or more were inappropriately installed. Yet the proponents of this view promote for president of the Republic a senator who is absolutely ineligible because he entered the Senate without the mandatory discharge of his previous duties, and he is one of those who are responsible for the falsification of the amended constitution. What a sham!
The G8 renews its proposal to end the crisis via the Supreme Court and challenges the proposal of President Michel Joseph Martelly, Senator Jocelerme Privert and Cholzer Chancy for the following reasons:
- 1. The Parliament is part of the crisis and therefore cannot decide the solution;
- 2. This alleged agreement is the position of a fringe of the international community, supported by the ruling classes and their servants;
- 3. This alleged agreement attempts to effect a smooth validation of the 2015 elections without any regard for the people’s protests;
- 4. This alleged agreement does not represent any hope for the popular and peasant masses, nor for the middle class;
- 5. This alleged agreement take no account of the general consensus reached in the society to entrust power to the Supreme Court, which has always shown a disinterest in political office and has always played a positive role in solving political crises;
- 6. This alleged agreement seeks to postpone a crisis that must soon be solved;
- 7. This alleged agreement was reached while former soldiers were deployed by the government to block the democratic impulses of the Haitian people. The signatories to this alleged agreement approved this tactic while they kept silent about a serious occurrence on the day of the agreement;
- 8. This alleged agreement intends to reward the incumbent government, which is guilty of embezzling public funds for the candidates that were favored by the government in these elections;
- 9. The speakers of the Senate and House cannot engage in assemblies without a prior majority vote;
- 10. The Constitution does not provide for political agreements between the executive and legislature.
The G8 reaffirms its commitment to pursue, with the protesting people, a consensus solution that can restore hope and bring quiet to the streets.
The G8 renews once again its firm and unwavering determination to continue to support the Haitian people in defending their just demands.
The G8 supports the peaceful popular demonstrations held across the country to force government officials to respect the verdict of the polls.
More than ever united in solidarity, the G8 reiterates its determination to do everything within the framework of the law, to bring respect to the popular will.
Sources: Haiti Chery (English) | Haiti Connexion (French) | Dady Chery is the author of We Have Dared to Be Free | Photos one from Haiti Connexion; three to five from OAS, HIP, and Haiti Observer. | *Altogether, the G8 group of presidential candidates won 49.81% of the popular vote in the October 25, 2015 elections, even by the underestimates of Haiti’s Interim Electoral Council. They are: Jude Célestin of Ligue Alternative pour le Progrès et l’Émancipation Haitienne (LAPEH, 25.27%); Moïse Jean-Charles of Pitit Dessalines (14.27%); Éric Jean-Baptiste of Mouvement Action Socialiste (MAS, 3.63%); Jean-Henry Céant of Renmen Ayiti (2.50%); Sauveur Pierre Étienne of Oganizasyon Pep kap Lite (OPL, 1.95%); Steven I. Benoit of Konviksyon (1.14%); Samuel Madistin of Mouvement Patriotique Populaire Dessalinien (MOPOD, 0.88%); and Charles Henry Baker of Respe (0.18%).