Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Money Laundering and Voting Problems Cloud Haiti’s Presidency

After coming in first place for Haiti’s president the first time around, Jovenel Moïse had to compete for the spot again when the elections were redone due to fraud. The second time around, Moïse apparently came won in the first round by capturing over 50% of the votes. Many questions about his legitimacy remain, however, due to extremely low voter turnout in the election and a continuing money-laundering case against Moïse. If the judge investigating the case does not try to prosecute Moïse, there are questions of whether Moïse will follow in the footsteps of former president Michel Martelly in surrounding himself with affiliates of former dictator Duvalier. Moïse has also indicated his willingness to collaborate with U.S. President Trump, as two businessmen.

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Haiti Inaugurates a New President Dogged by Money Laundering Charges, Low Voter Turnout

Jake Johnston, Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch 

February 7, 2017

Jovenel Moïse will be inaugurated as Haiti’s new president today as the country returns to constitutional order after a one-year extra-constitutional period of interim rule due to electoral delays.  Moïse had previously come in first in an October 2015 election, only to have the results thrown out due to fraud. Rerun in November 2016 under the interim government that replaced former president Michel Martelly, the elections had Moïse securing more than 50 percent of the vote, winning in the first round.

But serious questions continue to dog Moïse as he takes office. Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald reports:

Since his win, Moïse has been on a countrywide tour, celebrating his victory, endorsing candidates for the recently held local elections — and battling money-laundering suspicions.

Moïse has dismissed the suspicions as the work of political opponents. The probe began in 2013 under Martelly’s administration when the anti-financial crimes unit was tipped off about a suspicious bank transaction, the current head of the unit, Sonel Jean-François, has said.

Over the weekend, an investigative judge assigned to the case sent his findings to the government prosecutor, but the judge’s order has not been made public. Government prosecutor Danton Léger has yet to say whether he will dismiss the case, send it back to the judge for further review, or prosecute Moïse.

 

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