Sunday 14 April 2024

Haiti’s Crumbling Government Formalizes New Unelected Transitional Council, but Bureaucracy Persists as Outgoing PM Henry Is Accused of Trying To Retain Power


A Haiti that exists mostly in the elegant salons of the Caribbean Community CARICOM is trying to implement an unelected nine-member transitional presidential council after repeated promises.

The problem with that is that the real Haiti that exists on the street level is completely removed from the proceedings, and the unabated violence makes it unlikely that the musings of the elegant leaders will ever become a reality.

Whatever remains of Haiti’s government has finally formalized the creation of the transitional council, a long-delayed move intended to be the first step towards restoring some semblance of security and order to the gang-ravaged Caribbean country.

To give an idea of how hard that will be, the names of the new council members have not even been announced since it would amount to a death sentence for them – the leader of the rebel gangs that control 80% of the capital Port-au-Prince, Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Chérizier, has threatened them and their families.

A time frame for installing the council and replacing outgoing Prime Minister Ariel Henry is also not divulged.

Reuters reported:

“Indicating the unelected Henry will initially retain oversight of proceedings, the decree allows the current prime minister to make the “necessary arrangements” ahead of the new appointments. Those chosen must then “participate, in agreement with the prime minister, in the formation of an inclusive ministers’ cabinet.”

It calls on the council to help speed the deployment of international troops Henry requested in 2022 to aid police in their battles with armed and increasingly powerful gangs.”

Almost 100k people have fled Port-au-Prince in the last month alone. Basic goods are lacking, as key ports remain closed.

“The decree, published in Haiti’s official gazette, names the nine political parties or social sectors to be represented on the council, including two non-voting observers, confirming an announcement made last month.”

The government’s decree stipulates that the council will be headquartered in the National Palace – a building that has come repeatedly under fire in the past weeks.

After the decree was published, it was ‘business as usual’: more gun fights took place, with a police officer shot dead.

It could still take quite some time before the council is installed, given the difficulties of processing legal documents.

“‘It could be very difficult’, [former justice minister Camille] LeBlanc told Reuters, adding that while he doubted the council’s prospects, he supported it if it could move the country past the current deadlock, help reopen ports and bring essential food supplies to a country facing acute hunger.

‘To declare the transition council must ‘rapidly’ name a prime minister is utopian’, added.”

Many believe that the outgoing Prime Minister Ariel Henry – who can’t even manage to return to the country, is disrupting the implementation of the Council process in order to hold onto power.

CARICOM leaders welcomed the new decree, reiterating the need ‘to urgently address the security situation’ so that schools and businesses can reopen and people can travel freely and access basic supplies.

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