Former Justice Minister talks undemocratic electoral process

Former Justice Minister Paul Denis [file]

Former Justice Minister Paul Denis [file]

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ( – A former minister of justice, who could have have been a strong presidential candidate, rather registered his candidacy to become a senator, where Haiti really needs help in establishing good laws at its foundation. But an exclusive process, preparing an undemocratic election, will make this not be.

June 14, 2015: Paul Denis speaks of injustices encountered in trying to become candidate for Senator of the Sud Department. Hosted by Lilliane Pierre-Paul. Because the two-hour long program will re-air Wednesday at 8 p.m. we are only sharing a ten minute excerpt.

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Former Justice Minister Paul Denis spoke of his case on Interet Publique, a Sunday morning political roundtable hosted by Lilliane Pierre Paul on Radio Kiskeya. It is here where Denis explained his situation.

His candidacy rejected by the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) for not having obtained a ministerial-level décharge, a clearance which can only be obtained by the Haitian Parliament which, today, is not existent, so to speak.

What is most striking about Minister Denis’ case, as like dozens of others, is that he has been requesting that Parliament issue him the certificate for four years, while it was in place and functioning but yet, still, did not have one issued. In fact, a ministerial-level décharge has never, in the history of Haiti, been issued or even brought into a commission to be studied in Parliament.

Political Machination

On Saturday’s political roundtable, Ranmase on Radio Caraïbes, a machination of four characters was describe by more than one of the participants in the discussion.

They discussed it as a pact between the defacto administration of Michel Martelly and Evans Paul, and former presidents, Rene Preval and Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to exclude candidates they deemed too popular to continue in the elections.

It is the same maneuvers which prefaced the blatantly fraudulent elections of 2010 that national consensus says brought an illegitimate president to power.

Leading up to those elections, The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean was disqualified from even participating in the elections for not having resided in Haiti for five years. But the same measure placed on Jean, was not on Michel Martelly who was in the exact same predicament.

Then-President Rene Preval believed Wyclef Jean too popular to continue into the elections and didn’t see Martelly as a threatening candidate. Preval was correct in that sense as Martelly came in fourth in the first round of the 2010 presidential elections, but Preval didn’t anticipate an international community led by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, imposing Martelly as the candidate who would continue into the second round and eventually become the next president.

In 2015, the same actions are taking place. A candidate perceived as ‘too popular’ to be in the elections, too popular to be controlled, former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, was eliminated for not having décharge.

Initially, it was just Lamothe, and other ministers were allowed to continue but uproar at the inconsistency was responded with by eliminating all ministers from the competition. In essence, they were just collateral damage because the issue of décharge, all seem to know, is a tool of the institutionalized corruption.

Yet, even with the disqualification of all ministers, inconsistency is not gone. Each candidate for the parties of the presidents, Michel Martelly, Rene Preval, and Jean-Bertrand Aristide, were required to obtain a décharge for having been managers of public funds, and each of these candidates did not, but were allowed to continue.

These are:

  • Jovenel Moïse, who had $27 million [US] of state funds allocated (irreguraly mind you) at his disposition by the Martelly administration, whose party, PHTK he is running as its nominee for president.
  • Jacky Lumarque, president of the State University of Haiti system which has tens of millions placed in his management annually. He is running under the party Vérité of former President Rene Preval.
  • Maryse Narcisse chaired to commissions having autonomy and public funds at its disposal in the 90s under former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. She is the candidate for president of Fanmi Lavalas.

What is most unjust about these three cases is that each, with due diligence, could have obtained décharges from the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes (CSCCA). Because they were not ministers, they were therefore not needing a certificate from Parliament but from the CSCCA, which is existent, functioning, and doing so quite well.


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