Haiti must fix political impasse before peace restoration, elections- Ali tells OAS

Last Updated on Friday, 15 September 2023, 13:24 by Denis Chabrol

The Eminent Persons Group in discussion with stakeholders in Haiti. From left are, former Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Dr Kenny Anthony, former Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Mr Perry Christie, and former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr Bruce Golding. Former Assistant Secretary-General of CARICOM, Amb. Colin Granderson, fourth from left, is supporting the EPG (CARICOM picture)

Guyana’s President, Irfaan Ali on Friday emphasised to the Organisation of American States’ (OAS) Permanent Council the need for Haiti to set up a transitional government to make way for peacekeepers and eventually the holding of elections.

Echoing the need for a viable political solution, he said if there was no transitional government that enjoys the endorsement of the majority, effective governance and decision making remain unattainable. He lamented the failure by the Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s administration to form such a broad-based administration.

“Only with a representative transitional government in place can Haiti credibly approach the United Nations Council for support in reestablishing Law Order and its democratic institutions a pivotal step towards organising free, fair and internationally recognised election,” he said during his visit to Washington DC.

The United States (US) has for several weeks now been on standby to support a Kenya-led peacekeeping mission to Haiti after a resolution is approved by the United Nations Security Council. Representatives from St Lucia and Dominica, according to the US, are expected to join the mission in providing translation to Creole. The Kenyan military had been expected to conduct an assessment on the ground.

Dr Ali’s position came less than one week after the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) said efforts by three former Prime Ministers, known as the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), to forge consensus for a broad-based transitional government have virtually collapsed.  “The Group was, however, disappointed that the tone of the discussions had hardened and that the positions of some stakeholders had regressed significantly, reflected in the strident calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister. These developments coincided with the alarming deterioration of the security situation in Port-au-Prince in August and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis in the country,” CARICOM had said in a statement.

President Irfaan Ali addressing the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS).

The Guyanese leader suggested that the EPG’s failure so far to broker a solution to Haiti’s political impasse based in common ground, the deteriorating security situation there continues to be marked by the dominance of gangs subjecting the Haitian population to a “terrifying regime” of murders, rapes, brutality and pervasive fear.”

Dr Ali stated highlighted that tied to the political and security challenges is a human humanitarian crisis. “Haitians urgently need health care, Haitians urgently need health care, sustenance, water and above all, the restoration of normalcy in their daily lives in unity with our CARICOM counterparts, with member states at OAS,” he said.

According to the Head of State and Government, Guyana pledges its “unwavering solidarity with the Haitian people.” “We are committed to exploring every avenue in partnership with the global community to assist Haiti in its quest to revive democratic institutions, restore the rule of law and ensure the broader embrace of democracy. The Haitian people need it and they deserve it,” he added.