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January 24, 2015

UN Security Council heads to Haiti amid political instability

UN Security Council heads to Haiti amid political instability

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Haiti
Other stories from Haiti
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Representatives of the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) fifteen member states flew to Haiti yesterday. The nation is moving to hold new elections with President Michel Martelly presently ruling by decree.

President Martelly, seen here in 2012, is ruling by decree after the collapse of parliament.
Image: World Economic Forum.

Martelly swore in a new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of nine members yesterday. It is Martelly’s fifth CEP in four years. Last month a presidential commission recommended the prior CEP’s resignation as part of a package of measures to move the country towards new elections. The commission was Martelly’s response to widespread anti-regime protests that started in October. The sometimes-violent protests were triggered by failure to hold elections, some due since 2011.

On January 12 the Senate was reduced to a defunct ten members, with sixteen required for a quorum. Amendments to electoral law were required by the Senate before elections due in 2011 could be held. Rival political factions were unable to resolve disagreements. The lower level of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, also saw all 99 seats vacated.

Also due are municipal elections, with 4,000 local posts needing refilled. A presidential election is due this year and the constitution forbids a consecutive term for Martelly. CEP members were sworn in yesterday at the Supreme Court; the presidential commission also recommended a new head for the court.

This month Martelly installed a new cabinet including opposition members, amongst them appointing Evans Paul as Prime Minister. Paul replaces Laurent Lamothe who resigned last month at the request of Martelly’s commission. Paul was yesterday joined by foreign diplomats to welcome the new CEP in Petionville, the CEP headquarters.

Protests continued around the nation yesterday, with anger directed at foreign leaders who have supported Martelly as well as the local regime. Brazil, Canada, France, Spain, the United States, the European Union, and the Organization of American States expressed in a joint statement “support to the president of the republic in the exercise of his constitutional duty to ensure the regular functioning of institutions and the continuity of the state” as parliament’s terms lapsed and power passed to Martelly alone.

The UN is unpopular in Haiti where many blame their peacekeeping force for a 2010 cholera outbreak, which is ongoing with 9,000 deaths. The UN has extended the peacekeeping mission for another year but does plan to reduce troops from around 5,000 to around 2,400. Anti-peacekeeper protests have also focussed on sexual abuse allegations.



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December 15, 2014

Laurent Lamothe resigns as Haitian PM

Laurent Lamothe resigns as Haitian PM – Wikinews, the free news source

Laurent Lamothe resigns as Haitian PM

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Haiti
Other stories from Haiti
…More articles here
Location of Haiti

A map showing the location of Haiti

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Haiti, see the Haiti Portal
Flag of Haiti.svg

Laurent Lamothe during a foreign visit earlier this year.
Image: U.S. Department of State.

Laurent Lamothe on Saturday announced his resignation as Prime Minister of Haiti amid political paralysis and anti-regime protests.

Lamothe’s resignation had been recommended on Friday by a commission set up by President Michel Martelly. Martelly appointed Lamothe in 2011, the year after a major earthquake caused widespread devastation. Elections to the Senate, Lower Chamber, and numerous municipal offices were also due in 2011.

The Senate must approve amended electoral law before the votes can occur. At least sixteen of the thirty Senate members must attend to make a quorum. Only twenty places are presently filled, and six opposition members are refusing to attend.

The opposition accuses the government of unfairly favouring themselves with the amendments. In response the government claims opposition politicians wish to delay the votes to retain their seats. Hundreds of municipal seats, all of the Lower House, and most of the Senate all require elected. If votes are not in by January 12 the Senate will be reduced to a defunct ten members.

Lamothe told TV audiences “I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment. Vive Haiti.” The nation remains one of the poorest in the world but last year foreign investment was worth US$186 million (£118 million; 149 million), a 20% increase. He also says 84% of children are in education now, compared to 52% when he was appointed.

His social media savvy and multiple languages helped him develop a high profile at home and abroad. He also attempted to simplify business startups, and campaigned with tourism minister Stephanie Villedrouin to improve Haiti’s image abroad. He was Martelly’s third choice for Prime Minister, with Parliament rejecting his first two appointments. Lamothe’s three-year term witnessed three cabinet reshuffles.

Protests over missed elections began in October, with citizens taking to the streets to demand Martelly and Lamothe both resign. The sometimes violent protests have not abated despite Martelly forming the eleven-strong commission late last month to try and reach a resolution.

Martelly has already indicated he accepts the commission’s findings. Also recommended are resignations by the electoral commission and the head of the Supreme Court.



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March 21, 2011

Haiti votes in presidential runoff

Haiti votes in presidential runoff – Wikinews, the free news source

Haiti votes in presidential runoff

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Haiti
Other stories from Haiti
  • 12 February 2015: Dominican murder draws light to anti-Haitian sentiment
  • 24 January 2015: UN Security Council heads to Haiti amid political instability
  • 15 December 2014: Laurent Lamothe resigns as Haitian PM
  • 2 July 2013: Cholera spreads to Port-au-Prince, five cases reported
  • 12 May 2013: Haitian cholera victims threaten United Nations with lawsuit
…More articles here
Location of Haiti

A map showing the location of Haiti

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Haiti, see the Haiti Portal
Flag of Haiti.svg

About one million Haitians remain in squalid, temporary shelters.

Voters in Haiti are going to the polls today to vote for the country’s next president. The election follows months of political turmoil after the corrupt first round election in November caused a crisis requiring international intervention.

Haiti is still struggling to recover from the devastating January 2010 earthquake, with about one million people remaining in squalid, temporary shelters and a recent cholera epidemic which threatens to break out again with the return of the rainy season. Observers are hoping the new president will restore enough stability so rebuilding efforts can begin with international help.

In Haiti’s first round of balloting in November, names were missing from voter rolls, ballot boxes were stuffed or trashed, voters were blocked from the precincts by supporters of candidates, among other irregularities. Haitians rioted, plunging the process into chaos that was quelled by the determined efforts of foreign monitors.

Out of the original 19 candidates, two remained after the first round: Mirlande Manigat, age 70, a sedate, reserved university professor and wife of former president Leslie Manigat, and pop star “Sweet Micky” Martelly, age 50, who the The Washington Post described as being “a popular kompa singer […] famous for dropping his pants on stage, mooning audiences, and dressing in drag — or sometimes a diaper.”

However, Martelly has waged an energetic, well financed campaign with pink campaign posters picturing his smiling face and bald head, cultivating a populist image with Haiti’s poor. He has been successful at marketing himself as an unpretentious outsider who will shake up the political system and yank the country out of its paralysis. At the same time, he has courted the upper class with a platform containing pro-business promises and support for the return of the Haitian army.

The sedate personality of Manigat contrasts starkly with that of Martelly. She portrays herself as a dignified, mature mother figure able to nurture Haiti through its troubles.

The determining factor may be the popular former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who returned two days ago to Haiti from South America after seven years in exile. Aristide has not endorsed either candidate, but Aristide supporters, among those Haitians most desperately poor, have voiced support for Manigat. Upon Aristide’s arrival, there were banners saying, “My mother is here already. Welcome home Father”, according to The Washington Post.

Pierre-Marie Boisson, a private-sector economist in Haiti, sees the candidates as having similar platforms, promising jobs, housing and free education, even if their personal styles are so different. “They have both promised the moon to the voters,” he said. He noted that this puts tremendous pressure on the winner to produce results quickly in a world where the price of food and fuel is rising.

As voting concluded, despite some irregularities such as missing ballots and late starts, authorities concluded the voting went well, without the pervasive fraud that marked the November election. Colin Granderson, head of Organization of American States (OAS) observer mission, said the runoff election was a great improvement over the previous one.

The final results will be announced on April 16.



Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Haitian general election, 2010–2011

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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