Mon | May 27, 2024

Members to Haiti’s Transitional Presidential Council named

Published:Wednesday | April 17, 2024 | 10:46 AM
CMC photo.

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Haiti has named the members of the Transitional Presidential Council (CPT), paving the way for the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to continue efforts at holding fresh elections in a bid to end the political and socio-economic crisis in the country.

In a decree published in the official gazette “Le Moniteur” late Tuesday, the members named are former diplomat Smith Augustin, ex-senator Louis Gerald Gilles, former central bank governor Fritz Alphonse Jean, ex-Senate president Edgard Leblanc Fils, entrepreneur Laurent Saint-Cyr, lawyer Emmanuel Vertilaire, and Leslie Voltaire, a former minister and diplomat.

Evangelical pastor Frinel Joseph and former World Bank official Regine Abraham have been appointed as non-voting observer members.

The publication of the decree came less than 24 hours after the government said no decree regarding the appointment of members of the CPT had been published.

In a statement denying the publication, the Ministry of Communication said that contrary to the rumours circulating on social media that a “supposedly authentic” decree had been published, it wanted to inform the population in general and the Haitian press in particular “that the official newspaper “Le Moniteur” has not published any decree relating to the appointment of members of the CPT.

Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry, who was sworn in with the backing of the international community shortly after the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, has already indicated that he would step down once the CPT is officially installed and a new prime minister sworn in ahead of the fresh elections.

Henry is stranded in Puerto Rico having been unable to return home from Kenya where he witnessed the signing of an agreement that would allow the African country to lead a United Nations Security Council sanctioned Multinational Security Mission (MSS) to restore peace and security in Haiti.

Earlier this week, the members of the CPT had called for it to be installed “as soon as possible” while accusing the Henry government of seeking to introduce “major modifications” that could further stall the process of bringing about peace and security in the country.

The political, economic, religious and civil society organisations said they also want the council to be installed in “the form and content defined in the Political Agreement for a Peaceful and Orderly Transition of April 3, 2024.”

They said they are “deeply shocked” upon learning of the decree published last Friday by the Henry government and “denounce the introduction of major modifications which distort the consensual project of a two-headed executive carried by the Presidential Transitional Council, consensus patiently and laboriously built between Stakeholders from March 11, 2024.”

Last weekend, both the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the 15-member CARICOM grouping welcomed the establishment of the CPT.

For his part, Guterres urged all Haitian stakeholders to continue making progress in putting in place transitional governance arrangements, including the timely appointment of an interim Prime Minister and government, and the nomination of the members of the Provisional Electoral Council.

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