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Haiti - Constitution : Amendments, bargaining and modifications of mandates....
10/05/2011 14:29:36

Haiti - Constitution : Amendments, bargaining and modifications of mandates....
In two marathon sessions (Sunday and Monday) the parliamentarians, in barely 20 hours of sessions, have managed to amend, in an atmosphere often tense, more than 100 articles of the Constitution before the deadline fixed by the prescribed constitutional [midnight Monday]. The amendment of the Constitution of 1987 will enter into force after publication in the official newspaper "Le Moniteur" before May 14, 2011, end of the mandate of Préval/Bellerive Government.

In their desire to change the sequence of elections and to harmonize the mandates, legislators have voted an extension of one more year of the mandate of Deputies and two years for the Senators.

The deputies thus compensates the delay of 4 months of this first session and receives as gift, 8 bonus months. The Deputies of the 49th Legislature who voted this amendment are the primary beneficiaries. Their mandate will end in October 2016. In short, the mandate of Deputies is now of 5 years instead of 4.

As for Senators whose terms are expected to expire during this month, they receive two additional years. Several influential senators like Joseph Lambert, Youri Latortue, Kelly Bastien, Evalière Beauplan will benefit from this amendment. As for the Senators elected in 2009 and 2011, they will remain in post until 2016.

In addition, the Senators and Deputies have taken Monday night, a decision fraught with political consequences, by blowing up one of the main safety measures of the constitution by the deletion of Article 134.3

The President of the commission, the Senator Annik Joseph (Alternative), admitted that the modifications introduced, have been introduced after several consultations with the outgoing President René Préval and President-elect Michel Martelly. An agreement between INITE and the Alternative [two majority blocks] has allowed the Parliament to make some major changes including some not covered by the 48th Legislature.

By 73 votes for, 4 against and 7 abstentions, the parliamentarians have indeed approved the replacement of the article 134.3 by the 134.1. in a version different from that originally provided in the Declaration of Amendment of the Constitution.

In the initial declaration of amendment It is written :
Article 134.1 now reads as follows:
"The presidential term is five (5) years."

The article 134.1 modified Monday night, now reads as follows :
"The presidential term is five (5) years. He is immediately re-eligible, but in no case run for a third term"

A modification that exposes Haiti to potential abuses of power, against which the legislators of 1987 had wanted to protect it. With this new article the elected President, Michel Martelly will be able to be candidate for the presidency at the end of the five years of his administration. The prorogation of the mandates of Deputies and Senators have been the subject of a bargain in exchange of the consecutive re-election of the President of the Republic.

ERRATUM : https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-2917-haiti-constitution-a-few-minutes-before-midnight-parliamentarians-have-changed-their-minds.html

For his part, Edouard Paultre, the Head of the Haitian Council of Non State Actors (CONHANE) denounces a coup resulting according to him of a "Deal" between parliamentarians, the outgoing President and the President-elect. He calls to disobedience against the elected at the term of their mandate real [before prorogation].

In this constitutional reform, the mayors are the big losers. In the new version of the constitution, it is expected that the mayors, who will arrive soon at the end of term, will be replaced by municipal officials appointed by the Executive through the Ministry of Interior and territorial collectivities who will hold office until the date of municipal elections in 2013.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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