MARTELLY CHOICE FOR PRIME MINISTER TURNED DOWN BY PARLIAMENT: REFUSED TO PRESENT HIS PASSPORT

June 21, 2011
By `

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitian lawmakers on Tuesday rejected President Michel Martelly‘s choice for the next prime minister of Haiti, plunging the chronically troubled country into political uncertainty as a new government struggles to get its footing.

The rejection of Daniel-Gerard Rouzier as Haiti’s No. 2 official marks a major setback for Martelly a month after he took office and assumed the responsibility of leading Haiti’s reconstruction efforts in the wake of last year’s devastating earthquake.

After several weeks of studying Rouzier’s paperwork and credentials, 42 lawmakers in the lower-level Chamber of Deputies voted against Martelly’s pick of prime minister while only 19 voted in favor. Three deputies abstained.

Musician-turned-president Martelly will now be forced to nominate somebody else, which could take weeks.

Rouzier is an American-educated entrepreneur and longtime friend to Haiti’s recently elected president.

Martelly’s press office issued a statement Tuesday night, saying the president was “deeply disappointed” by the parliament’s decision but will accept it because he’s a democratic leader.

Haiti-born political observer and private consultant Jocelyn McCalla said the nixing of Rouzier was “unfortunate” because he was a departure from the status quo of Haitian politics, a small yet volatile arena in which many of the same players participate.

“He’s not from the traditional ruling class and he made a successful career in Haiti,” McCalla said by telephone in New York.

Deputies opposed to Rouzier’s nomination accused him of tax evasion and not presenting a copy of the passport on which he regularly travels, raising questions over his citizenship and therefore his eligibility. The Haitian constitution bars high-ranking officials from having dual citizenship.

“His papers weren’t correct,” said Patrick Joseph, a deputy with Unity, the political party of former President Rene Preval. “We need to stop wasting time, and they need to submit an appropriate choice to be ratified.”

Kenston Jean-Baptiste, a deputy from a little-known political party, accused the opposition of wanting to hang on to power.

“Those who voted against (Rouzier) don’t want to share the cake,” Jean-Baptiste said. “The people who are used to blocking the country will continue blocking the country.”

Kenneth Michel, an adviser to Rouzier, declined to comment on the rejection, only saying that “parliament is parliament and parliament has its rights.”

Haiti’s next prime minister will play a key role in efforts to get moving with stalled reconstruction after the devastating damage of last year’s earthquake.

8 Responses to “ MARTELLY CHOICE FOR PRIME MINISTER TURNED DOWN BY PARLIAMENT: REFUSED TO PRESENT HIS PASSPORT ”

  1. Mary on June 21, 2011 at

    So anonymous, where is your next line of comments going to be? Your good friend just got refused.
    Here is one fact. If he was for real-why in the heck did he refuse to provide his PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP.
    I suggest that you and your ten year old both grow up. At least she has an excuse.

  2. Mary on June 21, 2011 at

    So anonymous, where is your next line of comments going to be? Your good friend just got refused.
    Here is one fact. If he was for real-why in the heck did he refuse to provide his PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP.
    I suggest that you do what your ten year old is doing, and grow up. At least she has an excuse.

  3. Gregoire Baptise on June 22, 2011 at

    If he gave evidence it would show he is FRENCH

  4. Balthazar Lazard on June 22, 2011 at

    Nothing wrong in that.
    Some of my best friends are French.
    The simply cannot be our first ministre

  5. eduj on June 22, 2011 at

    I am for dual-citizenship for all born of Haitian blood with no restriction. However the hypocrisy of these people, Martelly ,Rousier and al, who would deny us in the diaspora our full birth-rite as secured for us by Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessaline paied by his martyred blood at the hands of Petion and his decedents that now embodies the Mayard-Paul, Martelly clan. Their loyalty is only to themselves and their own clan

    • Elizar D on June 22, 2011 at

      Eduj- I think I may recognize your writing style. Very well said here. Too many forget Jean-Jacques Dessaline and our history.

  6. eduj on June 22, 2011 at

    May i suggest that President Martelly look toward someone with executive experience for the prime-minister position, someone who understand national security issues and someone who has served his country with distinction and honor, someone who is has a proven track of honesty moderation and is above petty politics

    I put forth this name General Max Valles as potential Prime-minister

    General Valles served his country with distinction valor and honor, for more than thirty year, through the Duvalier era until re gracefully retired from the army after being part of the CNG where he sought to usher in democratic reforms.
    He is brilliant administrator, a trained lawyer, a writer, a poet,and an educator. General Max Valles was and is still the most respected member Of (FADH) FORCE ARME D’HAITI

  7. claudi on June 22, 2011 at

    Martelly’s next choice for prime minister:
    Charlito Baker