Haiti govt will listen to OAS, CARICOM
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive says the outgoing government in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) government will accept the advice from the Organization of American States (OAS) and CARICOM team on the disputed presidential elections last year.
The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) had named former first lady Mirlande Manigat, 70, a law professor and Jude Celestin, President Rene Preval’s protégé, as the front runners in the disputed November 28 presidential elections.
The two-candidate run-off was scheduled to take place on January 16, but results have yet to be finalized from the first round of voting that was criticized for low turnout, fraud, violence and voter intimidation
“We want to have a strong government when we leave…. allowing whoever is going to win the election to have the full support of the international community,” Bellerive said following talks with Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
“The OAS and CARICOM are two serious regional organisations. Let’s agree that they are coming in Haiti, because I should ask them to come to re-evaluate with us and give us some advice on how we should eventually consider the examination,” Bellerive said.
Prime Minister Golding says it is in the interest of the region for Haiti to be stable.
“It is not in our interest for us to see any situation that would encourage instability or uncertainty as to the direction of the leadership of the government. The sooner we can have that definitively determined, then the sooner the Haitian people can get on with their rebuilding and the more we can be assured that the region will be able to provide them with support,” Golding said.
He said Haiti has a fledgling democracy and “has been at that process now for a relatively short period of time.
“Its democratic structures and institutions are fragile, and it is something that can only be strengthened and consolidated over time and with steadfast support from the institutional community,” Golding said.
Bellerive was here attending a three-day meeting between Haitian government officials and CARICOM as the French speaking country rebuilds following the January 12 earthquake last year that killed an estimated 300 000 people and left more than a million others homeless.
The meeting ended on Friday. (CMC)