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Haiti - Politic : The Sectoral General Estates of the Nation recommends the suppression of the Senate
15/05/2019 11:09:11

Haiti - Politic : The Sectoral General Estates of the Nation recommends the suppression of the Senate
Following the data collected during the Sectoral General Estates of the Nation (EGSN) from representatives and leaders of more than 600 organized groups in the country, during the sectoral meetings, five departmental forums (North, North-West, North East, South-East, Nippes), a national preparatory forum for Arcahaie and a diaspora forum (Europe / Africa), affecting more than 3,000 people, three fundamental obstacles were identified regarding political governance in Haiti.

The first obstacle is the institution by the 1987 Constitution of a two-headed Executive (Article 133): on the one hand, a President elected by universal suffrage (Article 134) who does not rule and the other a Prime Minister, Head of Government chosen by the President in the majority party in Parliament (Article 137, without any clarification in case two parties are majority respectively in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies), or in default of majority, in consultation with the Presidents of both Houses.

To the Prime Minister, who is not elected, the charge of defining and conducting the policy of the Nation (Article 156). And it is accountable only to the Parliament that takes advantage of this position to influence the formation of the Government and the recruitment of public officials in all sectors and at all levels; it is not responsible to the President of the Republic to which the people expect the realization of his campaign promises. This constitutional provision is a source of conflict between the two heads of the Executive.

The second obstacle highlights the lack of transparent mechanisms for financing political activities as well as the weakness and the excessive number of political parties. This has the effect both of fostering political corruption and of preventing the creation of a strong and unified majority in Parliament capable of supporting government action.

The third obstacle concerns the non-respect of the rules of political alternation creating a situation where the Executive and the opposition engage in a game of permanent confrontation, putting the country in a crisis situation chronic politics.

Based on the lessons learned from the work carried out in the context of these General Estates, and taking into account the current situation, the following few recommendations have been made, inter alia, at the level of political governance.

Recommendations at the Political Governance Level :
Find a consensus between the 3 powers of the State (Executive, Legislative and Judiciary) around the amendment of the Constitution, taking into account the issues raised and recommendations of the EGSN including :

  • The establishment of a presidential regime with a president and a vice president;
  • The adoption of an unicameral legislative system (lower house), with the suppression of the Senate of the Republic ;
  • The amendment of article 175 in the sense of the suppression of the intervention of the policy in the recruitment, the appointment and the career of the magistrates.
  • Continue and improve the implementation of financing mechanisms for political and electoral life;
  • Ensure the effectiveness and reliability of the electoral system;
  • Fight effectively against archaic rules;
  • Look for a link between the structural dialogue on governance issues and the economic dialogue focused on finding solutions to immediate political conflict;
  • Put in place a support mechanism for the process of implementing the recommendations concerning the main reform paths proposed.

Download the report (300 pages, PDF in French) : https://www.haitilibre.com/docs/EGSN-RAPPORT-15-Avril-19-Gouvernance-politique-economique-socioculturelle.pdf

HL/ HaitiLibre

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