Posts Tagged ‘Rene Preval’

Diplomat in Haiti to be dismissed for criticizing OAS, NGOs

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Ricardo Seitenfus claims coup against Préval was suggested

[Abridged translation of an interview by BBC Brazil as published in Folha for December 29, 2010. See original here and related article here.]

By Fabrícia Peixoto

The representative of the Organization of American States in Haiti for two years, Brazilian Ricardo Seitenfus is due to be fired from his position soon, a development he himself interprets as a response to his “critical position” on the role of the international community in the Caribbean nation’s recovery…

BBC Brazil – Have you been notified officially of your dismissal from your position?

Ricardo Seitenfus – No, not yet. I had decided not to take a vacation in December so I could be in Haiti during this delicate phase of the election. But the secretary general (José Miguel Insulza) asked me to take a vacation. I conclude that for the two months, February and March, that I was supposed to remain in Haiti I would no longer be there. But that is not the problem. The most serious thing is what is happening now: the OAS representative is not in Haiti during an electoral crisis. And I have an ability for dialogue with the Haitian government that no one else in the OAS has and that few in the international community have. (more…)

Chilean soldiers in Haiti: A subject of debate

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

La Nación photo

[Two articles on Chilean participation in MINUSTAH, the United Nations mission in Haiti.  See related articles here, here, here, and here.]

Time to withdraw Chilean troops from Haiti

[Translation of a commentary from La Nación of Santiago, Chile, for November 28. See original here.]

by Raúl Sohr

The death of a Haitian citizen at the hands of a Chilean soldier last week in Cap Haïtien was the last straw. The soldiers had found themselves surrounded by a rock-throwing crowd.

In fact, several soldiers were injured by rocks. The agitation was a reaction to the people’s distress and helplessness in the face of the cholera epidemic that had already killed more than 1,400 people and infected almost 25,000. (more…)

Haiti: Is the reconstruction commission finally working?

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

The CIRH, beset by concerns about its effectiveness, will have its first working meeting on Thursday, June 17.

[Translation of an article from Le Nouvelliste for June 16.]

by Roberson Alphonse

Barring further mishaps, the Commission Intérimaire pour la Reconstruction d’Haïti (CIRH – Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti) will hold its first working meeting in Port-au-Prince on Thursday, June 17, 2010. The meeting will allow for the drafting of directives for disbursing funds, Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, co-president of the Commission, told Reuters. “We have a program and a plan that have been accepted by everybody. Now we need the financial resources, the equipment, the know-how and the support,” he added.

At the Conference on the Future of Haiti in Punta Cana on June 2, Bellerive had declared, “The government and the CIRH will decide how the fiduciary funds will be distributed. President Clinton explained it very clearly and very firmly to the World Bank,” he continued, leaving to speculation fears about the difficulties of co-ordinating activities by different international financial institutions. (more…)

Haitian demonstrators oppose Préval and Mulet

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

“The People Demand that Préval leave” — AlterPresse photo

[Translation of an article from AlterPresse Haïti for May 26 on demonstrations in Port-au-Prince demanding the resignation of President René Préval and the departure of Edmond Mulet, head of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH). Mulet, a Guatemalan diplomat, was reappointed as MINUSTAH head two months ago after the former head, Tunisian Hedi Annabi, was killed in the January 12 earthquake. Mulet, known for his arrogance, had angered many Haitians during his previous tenure as MINUSTAH head, a period in which many Haitians died at the hands of UN soldiers. Concerning a particularly brutal MINUSTAH attack on Cité Soleil on July 6, 2005, in which as many as 70 Haitians were killed, the vast majority of them unarmed civilians, Mulet claimed when he assumed the MINUSTAH leadership a year later that criminal gangs had attacked UN troops, firing some 20,000 rounds at them. The UN later admitted MINUSTAH soldiers had fired 22,000 rounds at the civilians.]

Port-au-Prince, May 26 –Several groups of demonstators took to the streets of the capital on May 25 to demand the resignation of President René Préval and the departure of Edmond Mulet, head of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti.

Demonstrators affiliated with the Lavalas party overran metal barriers set up in front of the presidential palace by the police, who used tear-gas to disperse the crowd. (more…)

Turmoil ahead in Haiti

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

[Translations of two articles from Agence Haïtienne de Presse for May 21.]

Getty photo

FIDH admits fear of violence in survivors’ camps

Four months after the earthquake that ravaged the country, the Fédération Internationale del Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH – International Human Rights Federation) fears a wave of violence may sweep through the survivors’ camps in Haiti “if poor living conditions are not changed.”

“The people’s capacity for adaptation during and after the earthquake could turn into desperation and eventually into violence if the survivors don’t see that measures are being taken soon to remove them from the degrading conditions, even if it’s only a matter of temporary solutions,” the FIDH wrote in a report made public this week on the situation in Haiti. (more…)

Why does the empire covet Haiti?

Friday, May 21st, 2010

[Translation of an unsigned essay from Haïti Progrès for May 18.]

Ban Ki-Moon, secretary general of the United Nations, has asked the Security Council to work toward reinforcing the UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) which, he says, is being called on to play an essential role since the earthquake of last January 12.

Indeed, on April 27 the head of the UN was seen to be extremely worried about the threat of new natural disasters in the months to come, notably the arrival of the rainy season. “The risks of a possible revival of criminal activity and the precarious conditions in the refugee camps are no less unsettling,” Ki-Moon declared. “We must continue increasing security and protection measures, considering that the fragility of the state institutions exposes the country to a revival of gang activity, of organized crime and drug trafficking, which could endanger the achievements of stabilization of the past few years.” (more…)

Elections in Haiti

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

[Translations of two articles, the first from the May 16 edition of Listín Diario of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the second from the May 15 AlterPresse of Haiti.]

Listín Diario photo

OAS says Haiti is ready for elections

[Listín Diario] The assistant secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, said yesterday that Haiti is ready to hold elections in November, as scheduled, despite the effects of the the January 12 earthquake.

“The OAS and the United Nations are agreed that, from a technical perspective, the elections can be held before the end of the year, as called for in the constitution, if the necessary political decisions are made in time,” Ramdin declared in a statement released by the organization yesterday. (more…)

Haiti: Anti-government demonstrations in Port-au-Prince and Miragoâne

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Thousands, most from Famni Lavalas, take part

[Translation of an article from Agence Haïtienne de Presse for May 10.  See also “Is Préval leaving or not?” below.]

Port-au-Prince, May 10 – Several thousand people participated on Monday in a demonstration calling for repeal of the revised emergency law, opposing an ammendment to article 232 of the election law [which would allow President Préval to remain in office until May, 2011, unless elections are conducted successfully by this November] and demanding removal of the government.

The demonstrators, most of whom represented Famni Lavalas, demanded the return to the country of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, forced into exile on February 29, 2004, following an armed insurrection.

Arriving from several areas of the capital, notably from La Saline, Bel-Air and Carre-Feuilles, the protestors met in Champ-de-Mars, where they shouted slogans hostile to President René Préval, whose departure they demanded and whom they accused of violating the constitution, of attempting to remain in power and of organizing elections illegally through a subjugated CEP [Conseil Electoral Provisoire – Provisional Electoral Council]. (more…)

Haiti: Is Préval leaving or not?

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

[Translation of an article from the Haitian website AlterPresse.]

René Préval

Port-au-Prince, May 6 – Doubt now surrounds the question of President René Préval’s stepping down from office, or otherwise, next February 7, the date set by the constitution for the end of his term.

On May 5, the executive branch sent to parliament a request for an extension of Préval’s term until May, 2011, if presidential elections are not held by the end of November.

Joseph Jasmin, the minister in charge of relations between the executive and the legislative branches, confirms that a bill was sent to the Chamber of Deputies calling for the head of state’s mandate “to end on May 14, 2011,” if the scheduled elections do not take place.

It states that the president can thus carry out “the entirety of his mandate,” since he assumed office May 14, 2006, for a period of five years.

The constitution establishes February 7 as the date on which the president’s term begins and ends. (more…)

Haitian President Préval reiterates his desire to hold elections at the end of the year

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
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Citizens divided on the possibility of valid elections at the appointed time

[Translation of an article from Agence Haïtienne de Presse for April 21, 2010.]

Port-au-Prince, April 21 – President René Préval on Wednesday reiterated his administration’s desire to organize elections before the end of the year.

The head of state reported that a mission of technicians and jurists sent by the secretary general of the United Nations is currently touring the country to evaluate the possibility of organizing elections as scheduled.

Concerning claims by opposition leaders that elections are not possible because of the lack of credibility of the current Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP – Provisional Electoral Council), the chief executive counters that the CEP was formed on the basis of consensus.

Elections should be held in such a manner as to assure the continuation of democracy and political stability, Préval said, and reaffirmed his desire to relinquish power at the end of his mandate in February, 2011. (more…)

Haitian senate passes law giving extraordinary powers to president

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Leaves executive power and international advisors with no checks and balances

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for April 17.]

by Blanche Petrich

Port-au-Prince, April 16 – President René Préval received a blank check of incalculable value last night when the senate, in a one-hour session in the absence of the opposition bloc and with no debate, approved a new national emergency law granting him extraordinary powers and leaving no checks on the executive and his international counterpart, the Interim Committee for National Reconstruction.

The Committee will centralize all decisions concerning post-earthquake management of the country and, with no oversight by the legislature, will disburse the 5.3 million dollars approved for the next year and a half by the donors’ conference. The arrangement will be directed jointly by former United States President Bill Clinton and Minister of the Interior [sic] Max Bellerive. (more…)

In Haiti, nobody talks about elections anymore

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

What does Préval have in mind?

[Translation of an unsigned article from Haïti-Progrès for April 4.]

Around the end of February and the beginning of March, the electoral process was on everyone’s lips. Especially after President of the Republic René Préval asked the Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP – Provisional Electoral Council) to initiate the process and to draw up an electoral calendar. Toward mid-March, the much disparaged head of the CEP boasted, “My agency is technically ready to organize the next step having to do with legislative and presidential elections.” (more…)