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Presidential Transitional Council, story of a creation!

  • May 15, 2024
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presidential-transitional-council,-story-of-a-creation!
The famous Presidential Transitional Council (CPT) of nine members including two as observers and not having the right to vote

(part 2)

While Jean-Charles Moïse, leader of the Pitit Dessalines party, joined the CARICOM project with weapons and baggage, attempting explanations that convinced no one, the political situation in Haiti remained uncertain. The actors are multiplying by four to find the solution that could please the international community, particularly the United States which pressed CARICOM to impose on the Haitian political class, all political tendencies combined, a ready-made solution. To make things easier for the Community of Caribbean States via CARICOM, the American authorities put pressure on Prime Minister Ariel Henry. To scare and impress him, they isolated him on a military base on the small island of Puerto Rico, from where they forced him to sign his surrender and unconditional resignation on March 11, 2024.

The same day, a few kilometers away, in Jamaica, CARICOM convened a meeting by Zoom all the Haitian actors in the crisis to notify them of the agreement that they had always refused to sign after months of talks and multiple comings and goings in the Haitian capital of emissaries and special envoys of the regional organization . Except that, this time, CARICOM had sent an aide-mémoire, in the form of an ultimatum, in which Caribbean leaders imposed their point of view on political actors, civil society and the Haitian business sector to be a member of the Council. Transitional Presidential. According to this formidable cheat sheet, first of all, “ We must give up being a candidate in the next elections. Not be under conviction, indictment or indictment, nor sanctioned by the international community. Finally, we must support UN resolution 2699 on the deployment of the Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti (MMAS).

Still in the document, the West Indians impose, among other things, a two-headed executive. It was the famous Presidential Transitional Council (CPT) of nine members including two as observers and not having the right to vote and naturally, a Prime Minister. On March 11, from Kingston, Jamaica, the heads of state and government of the Community of Caribbean States also imposed on Haitians a 48-hour deadline for each entity to send the name of its representative to the structure to constitute the new executive Haitian. From this date, there was a commotion in the Haitian capital for all the sectors concerned, not only to respond to the directives of CARICOM, but also to respect the deadline imposed by its leaders to succeed in establishing the CPT. Throughout Port-au-Prince, meetings and meetings are multiplying. Smartphones are ringing non-stop, WhatsApp groups are on the verge of saturation, they all wanted to form more or less compatible platforms, groups or coalitions. It is not only the leaders of political parties who are mobilizing for this operation.

In Haiti, it is well known that the private business sector is also a political actor, if not one of the most important in the landscape. He holds the sinews of war: money. This sector makes and breaks political coalitions according to its interests. Better, for some time, the Private Business Sector, through the CCIH (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Haiti), intends to play a leading role in the direct political management of the country. This new transition is an opportunity for him to play openly. Moreover, since the Ariel Henry parenthesis with the HCT (High Council of the Transition), an organization set up by Ariel Henry and his allies to make up the figure without real power, with Mirlande H. Manigat at its head (the President), the Private Business Sector or the CCIH had asserted its presence by appointing one of their own among the three members of this ephemeral organization in the person of Laurent Saint-Cyr.

CARICOM, by creating this new political structure to take charge of the country during the second phase of the post-Jovenel Moïse transition, allowed this Sector to emerge from anonymity. Before the appointment of its representative to the Transitional Presidential Council, the CCIH published a press release on Tuesday March 12, 2024 which revealed its concern by the fact that it had not yet been contacted by CARICOM authorities. “ The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Haiti (CCIH) informed, as a representative body of the private business sector in Haiti as a whole, that it was not contacted by the actors involved in the research of solution. She recalls that the contribution of the Private Sector is essential to restore economic and social stability in the country. The CCIH remains attentive to the development of the situation and hopes for a rapid and peaceful resolution of the crisis. She remains convinced that a favorable outcome will benefit all stakeholders and the Haitian population.

The CCIH reaffirms its commitment to the economic development and prosperity of Haiti, and remains ready to provide support to any process aimed at bringing peace and stability to Haiti. said the leaders of the CCIH who had ultimately worried for nothing. Since it was quickly integrated into the process. Taking advantage, precisely, of the opportunity offered to it, the Private Business Sector has quite logically named the man who has become its standard bearer and its public and political face, Laurent Saint-Cyr, among the 9 members of the Presidential Council of Transition with, obviously, the right to vote. This sector is made up, in addition to independent personalities, of the Association of Haitian Industries (ADIH), all the departmental Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in particular the Western Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIO), the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), the Haitian Tourism Association (ATH), the Franco-Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CFHCI) and the Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry -Canadian (CCIHC), etc.

Haitian civil society itself is also not left out. Having become a stakeholder in active Haitian political life, this entity, made up of multiple trends and which we have seen at work for years, notably in the PetroCaribe issue, has become an important, almost essential player in the political life of the country. . For the occasion, it had formed a block called “Civil Society Group” bringing together a multitude of associations, unions and committed personalities. After many negotiations, meetings, discussions, procrastination and reversals, as with political organizations, this part of civil society had chosen, initially, the citizen Pierre Jean Raymond André to be its representative to the CPT as an observer member, that is to say, not having the right to vote, as specified in the CARICOM aide-mémoire. “ The Civil Society Group party to the discussions under the auspices of CARICOM has made Pierre Jean Raymond André its representative as an observer member within the Presidential Council. this entity had announced.

He is the General Coordinator of the Coordination of Haitian Diaspora Organizations (COODAH). But, very quickly, this affair of the Presidential Transitional Council turned, with a few exceptions, into a psychodrama for all the stakeholders in the transition. Finally, it was the Reverend Pastor Frinel Joseph, former member of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) who was selected to be a member of the Council on behalf of “ Haitian Civil Society Group.” Then, it was the turn of the other entity of Civil Society, that bringing together the inter-religious Sector, in particular, the Catholic Church, the Reformed cults, the Vodouisants, etc. and part of the diaspora to present, under the name of REN (Rally for a National and Sovereign Agreement), a member to the Council as an observer without the right to vote. Almost unanimously, REN officials had designated René Jean-Jumeau, a former Minister Delegate, for energy security under the presidency of Michel Martelly, to be their voice within the new transition executive.

The person concerned knew the role he should play and what his status was in the CPT. Curiously, after a few days and after many discussions with the other members of the Council to find out if he could have the right to vote, in the face of their refusal, René Jean-Jumeau abruptly resigned from the Presidential Council which was being formed. Here too, in haste, this Civil Society group had to look for someone else to replace the dazed René Jean-Jumeau who, it seems, had understood nothing in the film. However, before leaving, he wrote to his former colleagues at the Council to explain his position. “ From the beginning, I have always clearly expressed my position, both within the REN and during discussions in the Council, as well as in dialogue with international mediators. Despite this, faced with the work to be accomplished in the preparation of the numerous documents and tools necessary for the establishment of a process capable of validly serving the population, my commitment and dedication have always been total, and I cannot never sought to hinder the process, working with you almost non-stop day in and day out.

My intention has never been to exclude anyone, but rather to advocate for the REN to play an active role, on behalf and for the benefit of the largest and most vulnerable members of our population. I sincerely regret having to withdraw from the role that was proposed to the Rassemblement pour une Entente Nationale (REN) group as an observer within the Council. I am fully aware of the value of this position, however, in the current context, I feel it is best for me not to accept this role. For the humble follower of technology that I am, the need for concrete action is too strong to remain helpless in the posture of spectator. The REN will certainly take care to appoint a representative better suited to this role » suggested the applicant in a letter sent to the members of the CPT. After the withdrawal of the former minister, the REN immediately designated this time a woman, Ms. Régine Abraham, who, moreover, will save the honor, since she will be the only female presence among the eight other members of the Transitional Presidential Council.

If the war between the various groups that make up these three major sectors of national life – Private Business Sector, Civil Society and Interreligious Sector – has been less, this was not the case for the parties and other political platforms. Indeed, to arrive at the famous final list, the country witnessed real fratricidal struggles, some resembling real cockfights. Some parties engaged in real trench warfare as the ambition of each side left no room for compromise. The exercise was much more laborious than what Haitians expected for political groupings even if, in the vast majority, very few paid attention to what was happening during this process although they had contributed to overthrowing the Prime Minister Ariel Henry by paralyzing the country for more than a month.

A mobilization which had facilitated the blockade of the country by armed groups and caused the involuntary exile of the leader of the first transition. Nevertheless, the H Haitians did not expect that the succession and the process of placing an executive at the head of the country would take such a long time. If for a political grouping, like the Agreement of August 30 called the Montana Agreement, the matter was simpler, given that for more than a year their leaders had elected their ” President » of the transition, Fritz Alphonse Jean, even accompanied by a ” Prime Minister » in the person of ex-senator Steven Benoit, the same cannot be said for the others. Indeed, the leaders of the Montana Accord had no problem appointing their representative to the CPT. It was quite natural that they sent the former Governor of the Central Bank (BRH) to sit on the executive set up by CARICOM. No one opposed this more than logical choice. Without any difficulty, the leaders of the Montana Accord had designated Fritz Alphonse Jean as a member of the Presidential Transitional Council.

Until the appointment of the President of the Council on Tuesday April 30, 2024, there was never the slightest friction between this group and its President-representative within the CPT, at least publicly. However, the Montana Agreement consists of no less than 86 political parties or platforms, 106 grassroots or local organizations, 431 civil society actors and 326 independent and committed personalities who have composed it since August 30, 2021. This has was the same for the only political party which often plays solo in this transition, even if, from time to time, it tried to get closer to a few Agreements only to quickly withdraw afterwards. This is the case of the Fanmi Lavalas party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Dr. Maryse Narcisse. Historically, in virtually all coalitions, agreements or other groupings in which he has appeared, it is the architect Lesly Voltaire who has always been sent as a scout. For the process leading to the formation of the Presidential Transitional Council, the Fanmi Lavalas party remained consistent with itself.

Logically, it was Lesly Voltaire that he sent to represent him in this executive structure set up by the international community under the leadership of CARICOM. Indisputable and undisputed, Lesly Voltaire, former Minister of National Education, having the unfailing support of her mentor Titid and the support of Joël Vorbe known as Pacha, one of the pillars of this party, very radical in its position but sometimes a little confusing given his solitary strategy since its foundation, had, from the start, taken his role as Presidential Advisor very seriously. Well before the installation and appointment of Edgard Leblanc Fils as Coordinator of the CPT, it was the representative of Lavalas who ensured the visibility of the CPT and even spoke on its behalf. Guided tour of the National Palace, the question of security, verification of the feasibility or not of the installation at the Villa d’Accueil or at the National Palace in the company of ex-Colonel Himmler Rébu of the GREH who, also, made a fairly spectacular turnaround given his initial position on the Transitional Presidential Council.

From the outset, Lesly Voltaire even saw himself as the future President of the CPT. Moreover, as a representative of the Fanmi Lavalas Party, he was one of the first to challenge the majority that had been formed and having favored the election or appointment of former senator Edgard Leblanc Fils at the head of the Transitional Presidential Council before this majority, under pressure from the minorities who threatened to collapse the building, accepted a new compromise which was found on what they now call: the rotating presidency. Clearly, if all goes well so far, after the withdrawal of Fritz Alphonse Jean in favor of Smith Augustin, in two years, Haiti will have four Presidents to lead the Transition probably under American military occupation via the Multinational Support Mission for Security in Haiti (MMAS), whose arrival is expected at the end of May. (To be continued)

C.C

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Catherine Charlemagne