Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

International Community Must Be Unbiased Mediator in Haiti

The United Nations Security Council, which is visiting Haiti to encourage a resolution to the political crisis, must fight the perception that it is a biased mediator. Many in Haiti and abroad fear that the international community would rather support President Martelly, who is now ruling by decree, than support democratic elections in Haiti. The lack of democratic elections is what led to the crisis to begin with!

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

International leaders battle perception of bias in Haiti

Benedict Moran, Al Jazeera
January 23, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — After more than a month of opposition street protests aimed at forcing the resignation of President Michel Martelly, who is now ruling by decree, political graffiti is ubiquitous in the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince. In Haitian Creole, demonstrators have scribbled “Down with Martelly” and “Resist” on the walls of hundreds of houses and shops.

But there are also slogans that reflect a popular anger directed at leaders outside this Caribbean country. These include phrases like “Bill Clinton equals Al Capone,” a reference to the former president’s role here directing the flow of relief funds after the 2010 earthquake. On the wall of the Senate building is scrawled, “Down with occupation — Long live Moise [Jean-Charles],” a senator who has criticized the international community’s support of Martelly and who has long called for the U.N. peacekeeping force to withdraw from Haiti.

Haiti is in the middle of perhaps the most acute political and constitutional crisis it has seen in years. With elections delayed for the past three years, the country has no elected mayors and no head of the Supreme Court.

On Jan. 12, after Martelly failed to reach an agreement with lawmakers over extending their terms and holding elections, the terms of the entire 99-member Chamber of Deputies, the rough equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives, expired. The terms of a third of the 30-member Senate also lapsed, leaving only 10 senators in office, below the 15 needed for quorum.


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