PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) – The U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth H. Merten, says he is surprised at the behavior of Haitian lawmakers regarding the nationality investigation of President Michel Martelly and other members of the executive government.
In an interview with TV Metropole, the American diplomat said he was dismayed when criticized for his silence and then criticized for his intervention.
Merten said he received approval from the United States State Department and from President Michel Martelly to publicly declare Martelly not a U.S. citizen.
On TV Metropole, Merten supported his declaration saying it is impossible for a person to be both holders of U.S. citizenship and a residence card of the United States. Merten said that President Martelly had returned to the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince’s his residence card after his election in May 2011. Asked about other names or aliases, the diplomat said his research has concluded that Mr. Martelly is not a U.S. citizen.
The Senate continues its investigation although Ambassador Merten does not understand why. The Senate committee have lambasted Merten for his informality with the congressional inquiry.
Senator Nenel Cassy (Nippes/Inite) has asked Ambassador Merten to formalize the information he would have on the president before the senate.
Senator Jean Charles Moise (Nord/Inite), who chairs the senate inquiry commission declared a number of travel documents given by President Martelly for the investigation to be doctored and records destroyed. The former Consul of Haiti, Senator Jean-Baptiste Bien-Aime (Nord-Est/Inite) declared one passport forged.
Senator Steven Benoit (Ouest/Alternative) said a new correspondence was sent the head of state to seek a 9th passport and a copy of his residency card.
Senator Francois Anick Joseph (Artibonite/Alternative) believes the case has just opened and believes more information on the president’s alias, Michael Martelly, should be provided.
The President of the Lower House, Deputy Levaillant Louis-Jeune (Desdunes/Inite) said the U.S. Ambassador should not believe he can close a congressional investigation.
Deputy Arnel Belizaire (Delmas/Independent) recently returned from Washington D.C. and submitted, on the order of 1,000, pages of public records on President Martelly and members of the government.
Since its establishment in November, the senate investigation has led to the resignation of 4 members of the executive.