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United States : OAS Permanent Council Approves Declaration of Support for Haiti for the Timely Holding of Elections and the Renewal of its Democratic Institutions.

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today received, in a special meeting, the Foreign Minister of Haiti, Duly Brutus, who delivered a report on the political situation in his country. During the meeting, the Council approved a Declaration in which the OAS expresses its support for the constitutional Haitian authorities and all stakeholders in their commitment to hold free, fair, and inclusive elections as soon as possible in accordance with the constitutional provisions for the renewal of the democratic institutions.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister Brutus made a presentation in which he summarized the evolution of the Haitian political situation with respect to the organization of legislative and municipal elections, from the beginning of the term of President Michel Martelly in May 2011 to the present. He explained that elections for a third of the seats in the Haitian Senate, whose terms ended in January 2012, were not held due to the difficulties connected with the constitutional amendments of 1987, which reduced the number of Senators from 30 to 20. He noted that, despite this, the Senate decided that the quorum necessary for the functioning of the chamber would continue to be 16 (half the total of members, 30, plus one), instead of recalculating half the remaining Senators plus one (11). He said unfortunately, this decision has allowed a minority of six Senators to systematically paralyze the workings of the Senate.

The head of Haitian diplomacy said that, on March 19, 2014, as a result of mediation under the auspices of the Catholic Church, the El Rancho agreement was reached, which set out, among other things, the creation of a government of openness composed of new personalities throughout the governmental apparatus. But despite the scrupulous respect for the terms of the agreement shown by the executive, said Foreign Minister Brutus, the group of six Senators decided to block all progress in the electoral process, using the empty chair policy, thus impeding any quorum for the work sessions of the Senate.

On December 29, 2014, continued Minister Brutus, President Martelly signed with the Presidents of the two chambers an agreement that stipulates that the legislators whose terms were ending could continue their functions until the holding of new elections, provided the Senators vote on the electoral law. Unfortunately, he added, the six Senators preferred to allow the opportunity for understanding between Haitian brothers to pass by, choosing instead the strategy of chaos, which consists of advocating mobilization to force the resignation of the Head of State.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 15, 2015
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