Haiti: Senate Committee Submits Report on Prime Minister, Not Without Controversy

April 6, 2012
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Thursday, 05 April 2012 18:52

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) – The Senate Committee studying the Prime Minister-designate Laurent Lamothe’s eligibility for ratification submitted its report on Wednesday recommending ratification, but not without controversy.

According to Senator Mélius Hyppolite (Nord-Ouest/Alternative), a member of the ratification committee, Lamothe obtained two certificates of residence, one from the municipality of Petion-ville and another from the municipality of Port-au-Prince, that would declare that he has resided in Haiti for 5 years. But on the question of nationality, Senator Hyppolite said the report left the door open until the end of the review of the senate committee on nationality.

The committee chaired by Senator Jean Rodolphe Joazile (Nord-Est/Alternative), who’s mandate ends on May 8th, achieved four of seven signatures on the report. Outstanding from the report were Senators, Jean-Baptiste Bien-Aime (Nord-Est/Inite), Pierre Francky Exius (Sud/Inite) and Jean William Jeanty (Nippes/Konba).

The three senators who did not sign the document argue that another senate committee report, still to be submitted, on the case of nationality of the outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs, designated Prime Minister, Lamothe, should not be in disagreement with the committee on ratification’s report. The three senators argue that comments on the nationality of Lamothe from the other committee on nationality were not taken into account in the report.

Senator Jeanty says he remains in doubt of the nationality of the prime minister designate. He believes there was a rush to not include the sentiments of the three committee members who did not sign the document on the grounds they did not have even the opportunity to tell the committee chair that they were not going to sign the report. The Chairman of the Ratification Committee Senator Joazile, in his opinion, did not feel there was a rush in his committee’s report.

Senator Kely Bastien (Nord/Inite), whose mandate will end on May 8th, also signed the report recommending ratification but said he had hesitations because three committee members had not signed.

Another senator who also will have his mandate end on May 8th, Senator Youri Latortue (Artibonite/AAA), believes time was of the essence as a resolution was taken that the report be submitted within 15 days of the start of the commission’s work. Latortue says that four signatures constitutes the majority of the seven committee members.

Senator Latortue hopes that as soon as possible a meeting could be held with senators to discuss the matters of the state and relay them with the prime minister designate who would be in attendance.

Senator Jean-Charles Moise (Nord/Inite) denounced the finalization of the report of the committee on ratification. For Senator Moise, the prime minister designate has not proven residency or nationality and was found to have only paid taxes once, in the month of March 2012.

The senator from the North says senators whose mandates are coming to an end are influenced to rush the process of ratification and the international community is adding to the pressure.

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