Haiti Pathway Forward: new diaspora and faith-based coalition proposes solution to crisis in Haiti

By Rezo Nodwes, Dec. 28, 2022

Haiti Pathway Forward is a coalition of faith-based groups, Haitian American private citizens and former U.S. military officers working to effect positive change in US policy towards Haiti.

 

"A Haitian solution for ending the crisis in line with the Haitian Constitution"

Since the violent assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in July 2021, immediately followed by a major earthquake in the southern part of Haiti, the country has been in the grip of a spiral of hunger and atrocious violence fueled by heavily armed gangs terrorizing the population, while cutting off the capital and controlling over 65% of the national territory. Haitian politicians have been unable to reach a compromise in which all parties could find common ground. Many believe that this is due to the intransigence of some. Nevertheless, the widespread insecurity afflicting Haiti is jeopardizing the very existence of this beleaguered country. As a result, the authority of the State is seriously affected to the point of complete dysfunction. Added to this are the economic woes of poor governance, bringing the State to the brink of bankruptcy.

With regard to the aforementioned gangs that have created this pervasive psychosis of fear in Haiti today, and given that Haiti is saturated with weapons of war that it did not produce, the "International Community" should provide high-level assistance in the field of security to ensure and maintain the rule of law. It is imperative that UN member states indict and bring to justice those responsible for the sale, shipment and receipt of illegal weapons in Haiti. In addition, international military and police support is justified to help the Haitian National Police (PNH), which is currently under siege.

Today, so much is needed to resolve the multiple crises facing Haiti in the fields of security, education, the economy and health. The resurgence of cholera has already claimed hundreds of lives. A humanitarian crisis is imminent. The disastrous situation in Haiti today demands immediate action.

A structure must be put in place to restore and strengthen relations between institutions, and to achieve the compromise so longed for by the entire population.

 

The ominous specter of total collapse

The institutional vacuum created by the end of the Chambre des Députés' mandate, leaving only a third of the Senate, offers us the grim specter of a total collapse of the Haitian Parliament on the second Monday of January 2023. This leaves us with a window of opportunity to take urgent action before all the country's institutions disappear.

The constitutional and institutional vacuum in the judicial system, both at the level of the Supreme Court and the other courts and tribunals of the Republic, raises many questions about the very foundations of the State, incapable of offering even the minimum of legal and administrative services to the population, creating more and more voids in the mission and sovereign rights of a State. The three branches of government are inoperative.

 

Our proposal

In the face of the worsening Haitian crisis that is jeopardizing the country's existence, Haiti Pathway Forward, after lengthy consultations with several Haitian-American socio-political groups and multiple political and civil society players in Haiti, is issuing this cry of alarm to the Biden administration, hoping that it will understand that its policy towards Haiti could contribute to a human catastrophe. Worse than the 60-year embargo imposed on Haiti in 1805 by the world's dominant powers following the Haitian revolution. Worse than the 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 Haitians.

- Concerned by the urgent need to find a satisfactory solution to the multiple Haitian crises;

-Aware of the psychosis of fear that reigns in the country, caused in large part by the permanence of gangs, whose actions are destroying hope, the economy, and social life;

-Wanting an efficient and effective dynamic compromise in which all parties see themselves as bearers;

-Recognizing that a solution to the current crisis is imperative for the future of Haiti and the Haitian people:

 

Haiti Pathway Forward proposes the following:

A new transitional government composed of a five (5) member Presidential Executive Council and a Prime Minister, representing a broad cross-section of Haitian society in Haiti and its diaspora:

- Economist Fritz A. Jean (The Montana Accord) is expected to chair the Executive Presidential Council. Mr. Jean is an economist with degrees from Fordham University and the N.Y. New School and a former governor of the Banque de la République d'Haïti (BRH);

- Prime Minister, Dr. Ariel Henry (Montpellier, France);- Mme. Michèle Pierre-Louis, graduate of New York City University and former Prime Minister.

- Mme. Mirlande Manigat, (Sorbonne, France) professor of Haitian constitutional law, former First Lady, former senator and former presidential candidate;

- Civil Society is represented by Professor Eugène Guy Laroche, former vice-rector of the Université Notre-Dame in Haiti.Mr. Laroche was the first director of the Unité Centrale de Renseignement Financier (UCREF), an institution created by the law of February 21, 2001 on the laundering of assets derived from illicit drug trafficking and other serious offences.

- We propose Dr Garry Conille, former Prime Minister of Haiti.A member of the Haitian diaspora, Dr Conille has worked for the United Nations in many parts of the world over the past twenty years, and was recently promoted to Regional Director for the Latin America region (LAC).The procedure for choosing a new Prime Minister.

a) Mr. Fritz Jean - in his capacity as Chairman of the Board - will not be allowed to participate in the process.

b) The remaining 5 members will meet to vote among themselves to elect a new Prime Minister to head the transitional government. A mechanism based on the Haitian Constitution

Haiti Pathway Forward proposes a roadmap inspired by the various accords and proposals made by the players involved in Haiti's political crisis. This inclusive approach will take into account most of the major proposals. Part of the agreement will be Chapter III of the Constitution, which will be adapted to better reflect reality. (Note: Please find attached a detailed explanation of this).In recent history, Haiti has seen two successful elections organized by transitional governments: Judge Ertha Pascal Trouillot (1990) and Judge Boniface Alexandre (2006).In both cases, the governments were bicameral (president and prime minister), a form rooted in the Haitian constitution. The urgency of the moment requires the establishment of a Presidential College, and government headed by a prime minister, as required by the laws of the Republic, thus avoiding the total chaos hovering over the country. Chaos that is already spilling over into neighboring countries. A few suggestions on how to deal with Haiti's economic collapse. The Haitian authorities have ignored the warning signs mentioned in all the reports published by international and national financial institutions on the increasingly disastrous state of the Haitian economy. This has been exacerbated by an unscrupulous and corrupt economic ruling class, in cahoots with traditional Haitian politicians who do not have the welfare of the Haitian people at heart.

Haiti needs urgent financial and economic assistance to consolidate its sustainable socio-economic development programs. A plan to revitalize Haiti's economy is essential if the transitional government is to win the trust and support of the people for the forthcoming elections.  The same applies to humanitarian relief operations in the event of natural and other man-made disasters. We welcome the recent punitive measures adopted by the USA (Global Magnitsky Act) and Canada against the corrupt political and financial classes. As such, UN member states must also commit to ensuring that impunity for these evil actors is not tolerated. We also expect this to apply to those who commit abuses of public funds, crimes against humanity, violations of international humanitarian law and gross violations of human rights. International assistance will also be needed to strengthen Haiti's weak national judicial institutions. For, in the long term, Haitians must be responsible for Haiti.

 

The Haitian Diaspora

Haiti Pathway Forward is committed to undertaking a campaign within the various Haitian diaspora communities in the United States and elsewhere to create throughout the transition a special fund to finance the next elections in Haiti. This effort should be accompanied by the establishment of a system enabling eligible people abroad to vote in Haitian elections.

 

The Electoral Council

Haiti has a long history of autocratic government. Recent elections show that political parties in Haiti have rarely accepted defeat. As a result, active members of political parties cannot organize elections. As a result, members of the Electoral Council cannot be elected.

In addition, no member of the transitional government may be an active member of a political party.  And, members of the transitional government will refrain from participating in future elections. Haiti Pathway Forward firmly believes that this transitional government should be made up of technocrats chosen from civil society in Haiti and its diaspora. A negotiated Haitian solution to the Haitian crisis: an unavoidable step.

Internal quarrels must in no way block the above-mentioned approach, which aims to generate, integrate and consolidate what Haitians - here and elsewhere - have in common: a homeland. This proposal is based, in part, on some of the most discussed "accords" reached by Haiti's stakeholders.  The support and assistance of Haiti's friends are necessary for a definitive resolution of the crisis, and Haiti Pathway Forward sees itself as a facilitator in the current political climate. The international community has often deplored the inflexibility of Haitian stakeholders for their inability to find common ground. Haiti Pathway Forward proposes a solution designed and implemented by Haitians for a transitional government that would be able to deal with the various political, economic and humanitarian crises and human rights violations, and finally prepare for transparent, democratic elections. The implementation of this proposal will have the salutary effect of alleviating the suffering of the Haitian people, who today feel abandoned by the rest of the world.

Yours sincerely,                           

 

Fritz Clarvil, Coordinator Political Chair

Dr. Daniel Faustin, Chairman                        

Reverend Jean Maurice, Faith-Based Chair

 

Appendix

The Agreement includes Chapter III of the Constitution, which will be adapted to bring it more into line with reality. Article 133 of the Constitution will remain unchanged.

Section A, article 134 et seq. will be revised to adapt and improve governance management, taking into account the novelty of the current situation, which calls for the creation of a presidential college that is more representative of the players in the crisis.This motivation, in agreement with the parties in place, while presenting a historical dimension having been used on several occasions, responds to the needs of the moment as it reflects a broad representation of all sectors of national life.

Section B, to a lesser extent, will also be visited, and will be the subject of a roadmap.

Section C, dealing with the powers of the Head of Government as a whole, will remain unchanged, in view of the parties' acceptance of the governance of the existing PM, which is a key element of the transition despite the constraints and hazards of the moment.Nevertheless, for governance decisions, the Executive College (three members with the powers of the President) will act jointly with the Prime Minister to manage the affairs of state during the transition.

 

Addendum

This proposal presented by Haiti Pathway Forward is copied to the governments of the following member states of the United Nations Security Council:France  

Russian Federation  

China

United Kingdom  

AlbaniaBrazilGabon  

Ghana  

India  

Ireland  

Kenya  

Mexico  

Norway

United Arab Emirates

And to regional organizations :  

Organization of American States (OAS)  

CARICOM

African Union  

European Union

 

Translated by CHIP editors

 

Posted Jan. 7, 2023