Haiti: Duration of the Mandate of 10 Senators Prompts Conflicts

Haiti: Duration of the Mandate of 10 Senators Prompts Conflicts

On Monday, the Haitian Congress resumed its activities amid disputes over the length of tenure of 10 out of 30 members of the Senate.

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Currently, senators are the only authorities in this Caribbean country who were directly elected by the population for their positions. Their stay in power, however, has been under discussion over the last month. While the House Speaker Joseph Lambert holds that their term ends in January 2023, Prime Minister Ariel Henry affirms the tenure of 10 senators ends this week.

In replying to Henry’s interpretation of the Constitution, Lambert said that “we cannot accept that ‘Democrats,’ who claim to be convinced of representative and republican democracy, question the very existence of the Senate.” He also emphasized that his “mandate was not a gift. It was not granted by a President, much less by a Prime Minister.”

On Sunday, the Henry administration and 10 lawmakers met to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at ending the senators’ mandate in January 2023.

MintPress News mourns the murder of our Haitian colleague Amady John Wesley. A brave and talented cameraman, Amady dedicated himself to bringing light to Haiti’s revolutionary struggle and played an essential role in our forthcoming documentary ‘Another Vision.’ Rest in Peace. pic.twitter.com/LmMkN7SEc9

— MintPress News (@MintPressNews)
January 7, 2022

“The Executive and the Senate will work together to establish a climate of political appeasement that leads to stable governance and the organization of credible and inclusive elections in 2022, within the framework of a new Constitution”, reads the draft of the MoU.

So far, however, Henry has not appointed an Electoral Council, although he promised to do so when taking office in July 2021 after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. The holding of a referendum to vote on a new Constitution also becomes unlikely in 2022, given the absence of both electoral authorities and an electoral law.

According to the Haitian Constitution, representatives and senators must meet to inaugurate the National Assembly every second Monday in January. This year, however, “we cannot form the National Assembly,” Lambert said.

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— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish)
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