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Newsreel – Haiti by Dela Harlley

Allies of President Jovenel Moïse, leaders of civil society and some representatives of the more moderate opposition have lauded the president’s efforts at forming a consensus government. According to former Senator Anacacis Jean Hector and the leader of the civil society initiative, l’Initiative de la Société Civile (ISC), Rosny Desroches have noted that the President has included some of the candidates proposed to him by the opposition, into the government. Three (3) members of the organization, OPL, were named to cabinet positions; Pierre Michel Lafontant, former OPL deputy from Jacmel was named Minister of Agriculture; Hervé Saintilus, former OPL Leader from the West was named Secretary of State for Alphabetization; and the OPL leader from Carrefour, Lucman Delile has been designated Secretary of State for Public Safety.

 

Other members include Marjorie Lorvil Léonard from Lapè, who is named to the post of Minister of Youth and Sports; Marie Ghiselaine Monpremier from Fusion, who is named Minister of Women Affairs; and Audin Bernadel of the de Tèt ansanm party has been named Minister of Interior, while former Deputy Jonas Coffy, who leads the Ayisyen pou Ayiti party and was one of the key members who participated in the negotiations as part of the group of 8 political parties, has been named to the head the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The post of Minister of Social Welfare and Labor went to the former Fanmi Lavalas Deputy from Petionville, Phélito Doran, who is also charged with relations with the Legislature, and the Vérité platform party member, Pétricks Justin was tapped to head the Ministry of Environment.  Despite this diversity, some in the opposition still scoff at their members participating in the government because they don’t see it as a result of a consensus between the President and the opposition groups. The other ministers have largely been members of the ruling party and other parties close to the ruling PHTK party.

 

Meanwhile, the parliamentary session to ratify the recently nominated Prime Minister’s policies has been suspended due to several hours of disruption by opposition senators, forcing the President of the Senate committee, Carl Murat Cantave to take the decision to postpone it until further notice. While the Senator from Artibonite called off the session, he said he wanted to settle the differences among the various factions in order to come to an appropriate final solution, but the pro-government see this action as a total disappointment, and the question of the standing committees a pretext only. Senator Dieudonne Luma Etienne, from the North expressed his disgust at the turn of events and said, “we cannot offer such a spectacle to the nation”. Concerned with the socio-economic situation of the country, the Senator invites his colleagues of the opposition to go beyond, to endow the country with a functioning government. Senator Nawoon Marcellus couldn’t assist the entire session because he was rushed to the hospital after complaining to some of his colleagues in the cafeteria about not feeling well. The Senate president then confirmed that the Senator from the North has in fact been a victim of a stroke and could be sent abroad for treatment. But the notable absence here was Jean Roudy Aly, the Justice Minister, who did not show up perhaps because of what Senator Antonio Cheramy said about being ready to prevent him from coming into the chambers, because of the Justice Minister’s involvement in the release of the recent Americans who were arrested for bringing illegal guns into the country.

 

While talking about justice, the President of the Association of professional judges, l’Association des Professionnels Magistrats, Judge Wando Saint-Villier, is vehemently opposing what he calls the illegal appointment of Patrick Rameau Métellus to the Port-au-Prince Court of Appeals, and call on the Supreme Court, Conseil Supérieur du Pouvoir Judiciaire (CSPJ) to take their responsibilities seriously and oppose this appointment. According to the dean of the court of first instance of Jacmel, the CSPJ is the administrative and control organ of the judiciary and the courts and they must choose the head of any jurisdiction. The appointment of Métellus is illegal and shows the Executive meddling in the affairs of the judiciary, given that since 2012, the Ministry of Justice no longer control the administration of the courts but rather the CSPJ. He stated that the legitimate candidate selected by the CSPJ is Nora Jean François to head the court of appeal in Port-au-Prince and the government then imposing Métellus on the jurisdiction has caused consternation within the judiciary, and the association is fighting for the rule of law to be respected.

 

When it comes to security, some think, the level of violence and insecurity in the country is political in nature. According to the Deputy from Grand-Goâve, Jean Marcel Lumérant, who was speaking on the radio this past week, on the program TiChèzBa, the violence that is causing people to lose their loved ones is in effect a process of gaining turf in preparation for the next elections. He fears that the violence does not lead to more violence, especially as reports coming out have shown that the criminal gangs are in bed with some politicians and state actors, who secretly finance their activities or supply them with the arms they use to terrorize the people. In a report of an investigation conducted by the judicial police, DCPJ, the police ordered the arrest of the Director General at the Ministry of Interior Fednel Monchery, and the Departmental Delegate from the West Rigaud Duplan for their alleged involvement in the November 13, 2018 massacre in La Saline. Deputy Lumérant decried the unwillingness of the government to combat this growing insecurity.

 

Talking about politicians and government officials working with the criminal elements of society, the Police commissioner, Michael Ange Gédéon has to deal with an investigative report that points out one of his inspectors, Gabriel Faveur Désir, as one of the officers who communicate with the criminal gang leader Arnel Joseph, leader of the Village de Dieu gang. On many occasions when the police are closing in on the gang leader, he finds a way to elude capture. Faveur has since been relieved of his duties this past Friday and with proof of his implication in the sabotaging of the investigations, and providing information to Arnel Joseph, the courts will be dealing with him in due course.

Dela Harlley

 

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