iol.co.za: Haiti’s senate has opened an investigation into President Michel Martelly’s nationality after a member of parliament accused him of holding US and Italian citizenship, a lawmaker said Friday.
Senator Steven Benoit said the senate investigating committee would probe 39 members of Martelly’s government, in response to the charges by Senator Moise Jean-Charles, a fierce opponent of the president.
“The member of parliament has filed documents supporting the accusations,” said Benoit. “We are investigating 39 personalities in power – the president, the prime minister, 18 ministers and 19 secretaries of state.”
Prime Minister Garry Connille rejected the accusations, saying, “I am Haitian and I have never renounced my nationality.”
The senatorial commission, of which Benoit is a member, is going through the archives of Haiti’s immigration services as part of its investigation, and has written the US embassy and Italian consulate for information.
“We are taking this matter very seriously. If we determine that the accusations are well founded, the persons involved must resign. If they are not true, sanctions will be meted out against those who made the accusations,” Benoit said.
Martelly, 51, a popular singer-turned politician, won the presidency in a landslide election in March 2011 and took office in May, promising to turn around a country struggling to recover from a catastrophic earthquake in January 2010. – Sapa-AFP