Caricom-brokered deal rejected by Haiti’s political leaders

Port-Au-Prince – Several political leaders in Haiti have rejected a proposal submitted by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to end the current unstable situation in the French-speaking country, and they have instead reiterated their position of imposing their own three-member presidential council to govern the troubled country until general elections.

Leader of the ‘Pitit Desalin’ (Dessalines’ Children) party, Jean-Charles Moise, said his party and allies have completely rejected the proposed seven-member council outlined by CARICOM following discussions with various stakeholders in Jamaica on Monday.

“The CARICOM sponsored proposal has absolutely no importance in our eyes and for the Haitian people,” Moise told a news conference on Wednesday.

“We have rejected the proposal,” he added.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who on Tuesday, formally announced his intention to resign as CARICOM leader, said that they had brokered a deal for Haiti, paving the way for a “peaceful transition of power” in the country.

“The government that I’m running cannot remain insensitive in front of this situation. There is no sacrifice that is too big for our country,” Henry said in a videotaped statement.

Henry has been in Puerto Rico since last week, unable to enter his country after having travelled from Kenya, where he signed an agreement allowing for a United Nations Security Council sanctioned international force led by the African country to restore peace and security in his troubled country.

His statement came after CARICOM had played a key role in organising the meeting in Kingston that was attended by top officials from the United States, France, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Benin, Kenya, and the United Nations.

Speaking at the end of that meeting, Guyana’s President and CARICOM chairman, Dr. Irfaan Ali, told reporters that an agreement had been reached that would allow for Prime Minister Henry to step down and for a transitional governance arrangement “which paves the way for a peaceful transition of power, continuity of governance and action plan for near term security and the road to free and fair elections.”

“It further seeks to assure that Haiti will be governed by the rule of law. This commitment reflects hard compromises among a diverse coalition of actors who have put their country above all differences.

“To that end, we acknowledged the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, upon the establishment of a transitional presidential council, and the naming of an interim prime minister.”

Ali said that it was also agreed that there would be the creation of a transitional presidential council comprised of seven voting members and two voting observers. (CMC)

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