United Front of The Haitian Diaspora
September 23, 2020
East Point, Georgia
Dr. Joel Augustin
United Front of the Haitian Diaspora
Telephone # 202-918-6992
For Immediate Press Release
The United Front recently learned that the President of Haiti moved to create a Permanent Electoral Council (hereinafter CEP) with an executive mandate for the latter to engage in amending the Haitian Constitution. For the reasons stated below, the United Front takes issue with such a move.
By way of background, the United Front has always taken positions that are grounded in and consistent with the Haitian Constitution. The late Attorney Monferrier Dorval indicated that amending the constitution is a condition precedent for achieving stability in Haiti. The United Front shares this sentiment as well. While we believe the current constitution needs to be amended, said the amendment should be conducted following the methods prescribed and proscribed by the constitution. Chief amongst such methods is the call for a national assembly of all sectors of the society to agree on proposed changes. In the final analysis, we must bring stability and prosperity back to Haiti by upholding the constitution which represents the will and testament of the Haitian people.
In that context, let us examine the posture of the Haitian Constitution relative to the powers of the President vis-a-vis The Permanent Electoral Council (hereinafter CEP). To wit:
Article 136 establishes the limited powers of the President and states in pertinent part that “[t]he President of the Republic, who is the Head of State, shall see to the respect for and enforcement of the Constitution and the stability of the institutions…” Whereas Article 150 states specifically that “[t]he President of the republic shall have no powers other than those accorded to him by the Constitution.” Nowhere in that constitution where any of the enumerated powers of the President include the creation of a CEP.
In point fact, Articles 191 to 199 expound with sufficient details on the creation and role of CEP. Specifically, article 192 states how the CEP is created by stating, in pertinent part, that “[t]he Permanent Electoral Council includes nine (9) members chosen as follows: 1) three (3) by the Executive Power; 2) three (3) by the Superior Council of the Judicial Power; 3) three (3) by the National Assembly with a majority of 2/3 of each one of the two chambers.” Again, none of these Articles, dealing with the creation and role of the CEP, grant the President the power, explicitly or implicitly, to unilaterally create a CEP, nor cloak the CEP with the authority to engage in or lead the process of amending the constitution.
In accordance with the cited articles above, it appears that the move taken by the Presidency to unilaterally create the CEP and confer extra-ordinary authority thereto is arbitrary and capricious. The President has abused his discretion by overstepping the boundaries of his powers. Therefore, the formation of this CEP is unconstitutional thus void.
Assuming that a constitutional CEP is eventually created, the United Front supports the idea of including a representative of the diaspora therein. However, the United Front would suggest the employment of a certain protocol including but not limited to consultation with the representative organizations of the Diaspora, such as the United Front and others, through various town hall meetings, whether virtual or actual. Up to this point, no such protocol or courtesy has been afforded to the United Front or any other organizations in the diaspora. Haitian Diaspora matters.
All in all, due to the unconstitutionality of the President’s move, contrary to rumors, we, the United Front, have not consulted with nor did we endorse any man or woman to be nominated on that illegally created CEP. The United Front wishes for Haiti to move forward with the creation of a CEP and the organization of elections. However, such a move must be consistent with the articulated powers of the constitution. Therefore, to avoid further instability and economic regression, we, the United Front of the Haitian Diaspora, earnestly ask President Jovenel Moise to revisit his decision to create this illegal CEP and encourage its creation in accordance with Articles 191 to 199 of the Haitian Constitution. Haiti’s stability and prosperity matters to Haitians at home and abroad.
About the United Front:
The United Front of the Haitian Diaspora (UFHD or UF) is an advocacy organization whose work is to unite and strengthen the Haitian Diaspora and its supporters, in order to enhance the economic, health, and social wellbeing of all of Haiti’s children. Our mission is to also ensure and protect the right of every Haitian citizen to be involved in the decision-making processes that affect them and Haiti. To learn more, visit our website www.haitianunitedfront.org