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Haiti The Presidential Transitional Council and stillborn decentralization, Hancy PIERRE, professor at the University

  • May 15, 2024
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The Presidential Transitional Council (CPT), after April 12, 2024, experienced a new institutional and legal framework which would have given way to adhocracy – that is to say an operation similar to that of an occasional group, or an implicit questioning of the principle of “irremovability” of its members. This formula also refers to the cooperative where we discuss the principle of management by rotation. Which would be ideal from the point of view of a participatory democracy – Also the CPT is based on the principle established by the Haitian Constitution in its first article: “Haiti is an indivisible, independent, free, democratic and united republic…” .

However, at other levels this principle is repudiated due to distancing itself from the effective promotion of local authorities and local power. The judges and members of the Permanent Electoral Council should be chosen within the framework of the assemblies. The preparation of the national budget and development plan is also part of this logic of citizen participation. Everything is limited to the CPT by giving an “elitist” character even to participation. Thus the CPT initiates a practice of stillborn decentralization.

In fact, everything will recover, from an operational point of view. Of a Prime Minister. Because the CPT is not a board of directors but a space for political and strategic orientation. It lacks an organizational culture to create an identity within the framework of a practice of solidarity, equality and democratic participation. Any struggle for hegemony or control of the CPT is an antinomy to the solidarity that the structure of a council itself requires.

The Presidential Transitional Council (CPT), created by Decree of April 12, 2024, Special No. 14 published in the official newspaper “Le Moniteur”, is the result of an unprecedented formula born from negotiations between Haitian parties in conflict in a context of institutional void in the absence of parliament, a functional executive and a regular and independent judicial power. This Council is composed of seven (7) members with the right to vote and two (2) observers without the right to vote according to article 1is which refers to the status of “representatives” of these members; “stakeholders” is a second notion used to qualify them.

The members became “delegates” with regard to the Assembly of sectors provided for in the draft “Political Agreement for a Peaceful and Orderly Transition”, in its article 47.1. Hence an overlap of two logics: one representative and the other participatory.

In less than a month since its creation, the CPT has evolved in its structure to try to overcome the dissensions arising from the appointment of a president on April 30 and to guarantee the appropriation of the principle of functioning by consensus. Indeed, in a resolution signed by the members of the CPT, it was officially decided to adopt within the Council a rotating presidency of four advisors and increase the decision-making majority from 4 votes out of 7 to 5/7.

Also the organization chart drawn would be of the matrix type at the crossroads of functions, activities, projects and responsibilities in a circular relationship. This requires intense working meetings and proactive coordination for a fairly limited term of office and a busy roadmap. Production Energy would be put to the test for important missions such as the organization of the National Conference, constitutional reforms, the revision of the system of national identification cards, the organization of elections… Such would be the challenge of titan to meet the deadline of February 7, 2026.

Bibliographic sources

-The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Haiti, Decree establishing the Presidential Transitional Council, Le Moniteur, Special No. 14, Port-au-Prince, April 12, 2024

– “Political Agreement for a Peaceful and Orderly Transition”, nd, sl.

-Jean Mary Aubry (1994), group dynamics, Editions de l’Homme.134 p.

-Philippe Bernoux (1985), The sociology of organizations. Initiation, Editions, Paris.382p.

Hancy Pierre (2023) “Decentralization and citizen participation, a political project under the rubble of authoritarian powers in Haiti”, in Le National of April 5, 2023