Analyses & Opinions

Haiti: Martelly pushes dictatorship at UN 69th General Assembly

martelly-roi-kanaval-dictateur touthaitiPhoto: Archive

NEW YORK, USA (defend.ht) - In his fourth trip to the United Nations General Assembly, President Michel Martelly travels to New York with hopes of pushing a desperate plan for a dictatorship as back in Haiti, the prospect of an impeachment and dismissal, in January 2015, nears.

Rather than using the word "dictatorship", Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe are using words such as "rule by decree" - a notion by which a Haitian president, after four years of maneuvering to keep free and fair elections from being held, causes the mandates of two-thirds of the Senate and the entire Chamber of Deputies to end and by this, unconstitutionally decree the dissolution of the Legislative branch and assume Legislative powers.

"Rule by decree" in effect tramples over what is most fundamental of democracy: the separation of powers. 10 Senators will still remain in function in January 2015 and there is no provision for allowing Martelly to rule by decree, but the Martelly-Lamothe duo hope to gain support for this plan while at the 69th United Nations General Assembly.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe mentioned the idea of Martelly ruling by decree in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. President Martelly followed up on Wednesday by telling more foreign journalists that he was "ready to rule by decree".

While foreign press agencies, lacking knowledge of the law, the political climate in Haiti, and seeing more interesting personalities to cover have taken the duo's declarations straight to print, in Haiti, many are either ignoring it or chalking it up with other foolhardy remarks that the Martelly-Lamothe team have made and later had to return to and swallow.
Martelly Lacks the Legitimacy to Rule by Decree

Whether it was President Michel Martelly's first decree, which was cancelling the Constitutional amendments on June 3, 2011, or his latest decree, which were to hold elections, already deemed fraudulent, on October 26, 2014, all had to be taken back for being outside of the law and at a time when the Haitian people understand democracy and know their rights.

The act of having to return on published decrees, have had a compound effect of making decrees by President Martelly meaningless. The international community, investors and others who are concerned would not be able to take any action based on Martelly's decrees because they are risky, likely not to be held and honored by the Haitian people.

It would only be through violent force that Michel Martelly would be able to rule by decree. While the Haitian Head of State has managed to politicize the Haitian National Police and the United Nations peacekeeping mission into acting outside of law and suppressing opposition protests and arresting political prisoners, for the most part, these forces have stayed away from using all-out violence for various reasons that include geo-political interests.
Parliament Will Still Exist and May Move to Impeach Martelly in 2015

10 Senators will still hold mandates in January 2015 and the Haitian Constitution is explicit in stating that their six-year terms, which extend beyond the president's 5-year term, cannot be shortened by any means, provision or circumstance. This means, Parliament may not be complete, but it still will exists and the separation of powers, Legislative power, is a fundamental of democracy.

In the absence of the Chamber of Deputies, which had been particularly favorable to Martelly, the Senate in January 2015 can be left to dismiss the government of Laurent Lamothe and/or impeach President Michel Martelly. This scenario had begun being discussed on Haitian radio in the past month.

Source: Defend.ht

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