The Hamilton Spectator

Internatio­nal plan to install new leadership rejected by parties


A proposal to install new leadership in Haiti appeared to be crumbling Wednesday as some political parties rejected the plan to create a presidenti­al council that would manage the transition.

The panel would be responsibl­e for selecting an interim prime minister and a council of ministers that would attempt to chart a new path for the Caribbean country that has been overrun by gangs. The violence has closed schools and businesses and disrupted daily life across Haiti.

Jean Charles Moïse, an ex-senator and presidenti­al candidate who has teamed up with former rebel leader Guy Philippe, held a news conference Wednesday to announce his rejection of the proposed council backed by the internatio­nal community.

Moïse insisted that a three-person presidenti­al council he recently created with Philippe and a Haitian judge should be implemente­d.

“We are not going to negotiate it,” he said loudly as he wiped his forehead with a handkerchi­ef. “We have to make them understand.”

His ally Philippe, who helped lead a successful revolt in 2004 against former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and was recently released from a U.S. prison after pleading guilty to money laundering, said no Haitian should accept any proposal from the internatio­nal community.

In a video posted Tuesday on social media, Philippe accused the community of being complicit with Haiti’s elite and corrupt politician­s and urged Haitians to take to the streets.

“The decision of Caricom is not our decision,” he said, referring to the regional trade bloc whose leaders presented the plan to create a transition­al council. “Haitians will decide who will govern Haiti.”

Other high-profile Haitian politician­s declined to participat­e in the proposed transition­al council. Among them were Himmler Rébu, former colonel of Haiti’s army and president of the Grand Rally for the Evolution of Haiti, a party that is part of a coalition awarded a spot on the transition­al council.

He said in a statement that the party prefers that a judge from Haiti’s Supreme Court assume the reins of power. Rébu added that the party is “ashamed and angry” upon seeing “the search for positions of power that do not take into account the responsibi­lities attached to them.”

The plan emerged late Monday following an urgent meeting involving Caribbean leaders, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others who are searching for a solution to halt Haiti’s crisis of violence.

Hours later, Henry announced Tuesday that he would resign once the council was in place, saying that his government “cannot remain insensitiv­e to this situation.”

He remains locked out of Haiti because gang attacks have shuttered the country’s airports. He is currently in Puerto Rico. The gang attacks began Feb. 29, when Henry was in Kenya to push for the UNbacked deployment of a Kenyan police force. The deployment has been temporaril­y suspended.

Armed men in the capital of Portau-Prince have set fire to police stations and stormed the country’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates. Among those who fled are gang leaders of at least seven communitie­s, according to the UN. Gangs also have attacked neighbourh­oods in a rampage that has left scores dead and more than 15,000 homeless.

 ?? ODELYN JOSEPH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Armed members of the G9 and Family gang stand guard at their roadblock in the Delmas 6 neighborho­od of Port-auPrince, Haiti, on Monday.
ODELYN JOSEPH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Armed members of the G9 and Family gang stand guard at their roadblock in the Delmas 6 neighborho­od of Port-auPrince, Haiti, on Monday.

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