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Dr. Guy Lafontant will answer questions about his policies

Prime Minister Guy Lafontant’s scheduled appearance before the legislature in defense of his administration’s policies and achievements on Thursday (6/28) is creating a schism among lawmakers, including those in the Administration’s camp. Members of the APH bloc have made it known that they will not blindly support the government’s policies and actions. These lawmakers reputed to be close allies of the administration, made the pronouncement because, according to them, the government has no concrete development projects implemented in their respective constituencies. The Member of Parliament from Môle Saint-Nicolas, Representative Yves Duprat stated that the presidential majority in the Lower house is not to be taken for granted, while three days of the Prime Minister’s appearance, there are no definite policy positions taken by lawmakers close to the administration that warrants their support. Marie Gladys Saint-Jean and Ronald Toussaint lamented that there were “no investments, infrastructural projects or social programs, an even the agricultural program is on its knees. The Grand Anse Department .is not doing fine, despite the numerous promises”, Representatives from Jérémie and Roseaux made an appeal for quick action to be taken for the benefit of their respective regions. It is not yet clear how these lawmakers will vote on Thursday as their own stance regarding the administration varied policies have also varied in term of support for those policies. The pro-administration legislators number approximately  70 in total but  only 16 of them have called the Prime Minister to appear before the body for a vote of confidence on the work his administration is doing so far.

 

Despite the buzz around the Prime Minister’s impending appearance before the legislative body, the Executive branch of government does not show any sign of pressure or stress regarding the meeting. According to, Guychar Doré, an adviser to the President, the invitation to appear before the legislature is a prerogative of the lawmakers, and the administration is well prepared to supply any information that is needed. Mr. Dore intimated that the opposition is needed for democracy to work. Mr. Dore is confident that the Prime Minister will present convincing arguments and explanations to lawmakers who will in turn vote in favor of the administration’s initiatives on road construction and repairs as part of the caravan of change program, energy and ecological projects. The sixteen deputies leading the call, who are mostly opposition party members hope that the dissent within the pro-government party will help them gain the quorum needed to censure the government.

 

Meanwhile, the UN intervention force on the ground, the MINUJUSTH, has offered to help the Supreme Court, Conseil supérieur du pouvoir judiciaire (CSPJ) with a quick impact project to assist in the timely collection and processing of statistical data for the preparation of the state of the Judiciary report. A working relationship between the administration and the judicial body remains tense despite the creation of a special joint committee to work on a plan to modernize the judiciary. These findings were made in a report to the UN Secretary General on the mission of the MINUJUSTH. The dissentions have been exacerbated following revelations that President Jovenel Moïse plans to appoint “corrupt” judges to the court. Furthermore, the CSPJ did not publish its annual report which details its work and the state of the judiciary, contrary to its legal mandate since 2007. The report is expected to cover such functions as performance evaluation, certification of judges, and inspection of courts. According to the UN, the delay in publication of the report is due to poor organization, and lack of resources, both capital and human, necessitating the MINUJUSTH to become the publisher of the report.

 

In a ceremony on Monday, June 25, 2018, the Deputy from the Northwest Department, the Agronomist Owell Theock, handed over the keys to the Iron market, marché en fer de Port-de-Paix, to the mayor of the city, before a gathering of dignitaries including Senator Kedlaire Augustin. The market which was first built in 1948 during the administration of Dumarsais Estimé has been in a dilapidated state for some time now. Those who sell or frequent the market expressed their displeasure when president Moïse visited the area on October 28, 2017 and promised to make needed repairs. Merchants who were present at the ceremony expressed their delight at the newly renovated market and express their gratitude to the president for keeping his promises.

 

Haiti began receiving asylum seekers on its soil. According to the UN high commission on Refugees (UNHCR), Haiti accepted some twenty refugees coming from the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, who were fleeing from political persecution, religious persecution and war in their countries. This was revealed by Junior Rémy Mauvais, spokesperson for the UNHCR, who said these people were fleeing horrific situations at home and have sought asylum in Haiti. Most of the asylum seekers have been granted their status and others still are being processed.  Some question why Haiti would be receiving asylum seekers and the representative answered this with the fact that Haiti has the mechanisms in place to receive refugees and it is somehow less difficult to obtain Haitian visa, more so in Haiti itself. But he was quick to point out the difference between an asylum seeker and a migrant. The latter voluntarily moving to a new country for a better opportunity and the former, usually vulnerable, fleeing from oppression either through religious, sexual orientation persecution or war.

 

Finally, the world cup is in the second week with the third matches to be completed by Thursday, paving the way for teams to move to the elite group of sixteen. In accordance with the ambiance that the world cup generates, the “Bouyon Kiltirèl” has been launched at the Champ-de-Mars where the games are being projected for the public and other cultural activities are also taking place. On Sunday, June 17, more than 4000 people were present to watch the games, see young talented Haitians perform acrobatic feats, and other types of artistic displays, in cooperation with the Théâtre National. So far, Uruguay and Russia have come through from Group A, Spain and Portugal from Group B, France and Denmark from group C and Croatia and Argentina from group D.

Dela Harlley

 

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