LatinNews Daily - 07 February 2023

HAITI: High transition council installed

On 6 February Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry installed a three-member high transition council (HCT), tasked with ensuring that conditions are in place for elections.


The HCT’s installation follows a document inked in late December entitled ‘national consensus for inclusive transition and transparent elections’ which Henry said had been signed by “numerous political, civil-society and private sector organisations”.  It is the latest effort to make good on his promise to hold elections and transition from his caretaker government which took office following the July 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moïse (2017-2021), and the currently inoperative legislative and judicial branches, and return to constitutional order.

  • As well as developing an electoral road map, the HCT is tasked with promoting political dialogue during the transition period, which the local media previously reported is expected to last 14 months. It will participate in selecting members of the provisional electoral council (CEP) and the process of selecting an expert panel tasked with constitutional reform, among other things.
  • Its members are Calixte Fleuridor, the head of Haiti’s protestant federation; Mirlande Manigat, former First Lady (1988) and 2010 presidential candidate; and Laurent St Cyr, the head of private sector lobby Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de l’Ouest (CCIO).
  • Henry yesterday tweeted that the ‘national consensus’ supports his call for a foreign military deployment to fight gang violence, a request he made in October which has yet to be heeded by the United Nations (UN) Security Council although Canada, Jamaica and El Salvador have recently offered help: on 5 February Canada’s government announced the deployment of a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to support Haiti’s police (PNd’H) in fighting gangs. On 31 January Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Jamaica was prepared to support a united international effort in Haiti, to which both Jamaica’s military (JDF) and police (JCF) had been alerted. El Salvador’s government, which has been carrying out a major crackdown on gangs, has also reportedly offered technical assistance to Haiti in fighting gangs.

Looking Ahead: While members of the foreign community like the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (Binuh) have hailed the HCT’s installation, members of the Montana Group, a leading opposition organisation in Haiti, have previously distanced themselves from the ‘national consensus’, raising doubts as to the likelihood of the HCT’s success.

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