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Newsreel 37#30 : Groupe d’initiative de la Passerelle (GIP)

President Jovenel Moïse met yesterday at the National Palace with a delegation of five (5) members of a group that seeks a way out of the current impasse, known as Groupe d’initiative de la Passerelle (GIP) to officially receive the documents pertaining to the November 10, 2019 transitional political agreement, commonly known as the Marriot Accord or the Port-au-Prince consensus. The group consists of Dr. Pierre Castel Germeil, Dr. Sofia Loréus, Mambo Carole Demesmin, the trade unionist Joseph Domingue Orgella and the former parliamentarian, Representative Joseph Joël Louis.  The document which details the consensus reached by politicians and civil society, proposes an alternative following the possible resignation of President Jovenel Moïse and the dysfunctional legislature. It contains the transitional political agreement and a summary of the actions taken by the groups involved from October 10, 2019 through December 10, 2019.

 

The oversight committee, Passerelle reiterates its commitment to serve as a liaison between the various actors involved in the acute crisis that is crippling the country, in order to facilitate a concerted and inclusive organic solution to the rebuilding of the nation. They expressly stated that their mission is just to facilitate the harmonization of the various positions across the spectrum and that the President must speak directly with the signatories to the Marriot Accord, and not the members of the Passerelle, who do not have any mandate to negotiate on the behalf of the people. They said that the goal of their visit to the National Palace was to simply help the President become aware of the work they have accomplished. For his part, the President said that he has begun negotiations with the goal of putting in place a new functioning government before the end of the year. But according to lawyer Michel André, spokesman for the l’Alternative consensuelle pour la refondation d’Haïti, any solution to the crisis facing the nation must first begin with the unconditional departure of the President, the pursuing of the findings from the PetroCaribe report and other cases of corruption, among others. Besides, the group listed these individuals as the legitimate opposition leaders capable of speaking on the behalf of the opposition on matters regarding the demands of the opposition and all political matters. These include the Senators, Evalière Beauplan, Youri Latortue, Ricard Pierre, Professor Antoine Augustin, former Representative Serge Jean Louis, Axène Joseph and current Representative Manès Louis.

 

Meanwhile, the President called on all political actors to work towards socio-political stability on the anniversary of the December 16, 1990 elections. Noting that that was the first free and democratic elections in the country since 1957, he deplored the way the political instability has created 15 Heads of State since 1986 and blamed the political turbulence in the country for the past 29 years on the deteriorating socio-economic conditions across the country. According to the President, political stability is the first public good that helps to bring about economic growth, and derided the political problems orchestrated by the opposition to force him out of office, an office he intends to keep until his term is completed. He stated that the Haitians have to work together to find solutions to the crisis and called on elected officials to work hard for the people they are sworn to represent instead of defending their personal interests.

 

President Jovenel Moïse made a surprise visit to Gonaïves this past Saturday where he was warmly received, according to his advisor, Jude Charles Faustin. The decision was a spontaneous one, given the city is considered the bastion of the opposition, with the influential opposition leader, Senator Youri Latortue. According to Mr. Faustin, the President is free to go to wherever he wants across the country, without announcing it to the world.   But 48 hours after the unannounced visit, members of an armed gang led by one named chef Polda, together with police raided another group considered hostile to the president in Raboteau. It all started when the leader of the Descahos gang felt that the vocal opposition has prevented the President from coming to celebrate the 216th Independence anniversary at the Place d’Armes des Gonaives, and after the President’s visit, took it upon themselves to pay a visit to the opposition gang where they clashed, luckily only one person was hurt.

 

Elsewhere, the human rights group, Plateforme des organisations haïtiennes des droits humains (POHDH) decried the waste of scarce public resources by elected officials taking  trips overseas. The group stated that it is unconscionable to learn from the press that some Representatives and Senators are receiving millions of gourdes to travel to Europe, especially London and Paris on diplomatic missions, while the country is in such dire straits. A 9-member delegation of parliamentarians is expected to leave the country for Paris on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 to observe how the embassy is functioning and how Haitian migrants are faring in France. Senate leader Carl Murat Cantave will also be in London from Tuesday December 17, 2019 through Saturday December 21, 2019 to evaluate the embassy personnel in the British capital. Meanwhile, a planned visit to Germany, of the opposition Senators, Evalière Beauplan, Youri Latortue and Nènel Cassy, on December 9, 2019 to take part in an anticorruption activity was cancelled due to lack of funds and the renewal of protests against President Moïse. The organization condemns the behavior of some of these lawmakers who spend their time wasting public funds for private ends, while the mission of proposing laws to control public spending and introduce a measure of accountability into the functioning of state institutions was misled by these same incompetent, corrupts and carefree parliamentarians.

 

December 29th,  marks the anniversary of the only free, fair and transparent election in modern Haitian history, ushering in a certain Jean Bertrand Aristide and his Fanmi Lavalas to the Haitian political landscape. In order to mark the occasion, the party  organized three (3) days of activities around the theme “Twa jou bò tab la pou n leve 29 fwa pi djanm”, an occasion for the leaders to reflect on those activities that destroyed the dreams of a people and also focus on the mobilization ahead. According to the party leaders, those who unconditionally support Jovenel Moïse are a criminal stateless minority but the fight for democracy will continue despite attempts to infiltrate the party ranks to create confusion and diversion. Recalling the events of September 1991 and again February 2004, the party saw these events as a conspiracy of the system against the wishes of the Haitian people.

The Japanese government is building 12 school buildings totaling 90 classrooms in the Artibonite and central Departments, according to the Japanese ambassador to Haiti. The project is expected to be completed by May 2020 and is entirely financed by the Japanese government, as a way to improve the educational opportunities for approximately 3,600 pupils in these departments, and strengthen resilience to natural disasters by developing earthquake-resistant and para-cyclonic buildings which will be used as evacuation shelters in the event of disasters. Japanese engineers onsite instill hope that such natural disaster resistant technology will be transferred to their Haitian counterparts.

President Jovenel Moïse who promised to undertake electrification projects to provide electricity to the whole country, toured the power plant at Varreux to see the progression of the project there. This revisiting of the power plant project is the President’s way to affirm his position vis-a-vis the Sogener controversy, even though he was unable to state when the project will be completed or when his pipe dream of electrification which is over two years now will come to fruition.

Dela Harlley

 

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