CARICOM “Closely Monitoring” Election Protests in Haiti

haiti protest
A protester holds up a copy of the Haitian constitution during a protest to demand the resignation of Haiti's president Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Haiti has lurched into a fresh political crisis amid allegations of a coup attempt and an escalating dispute over when the presidential term of Moise should end. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

CARICOM has expressed concern about recent developments surrounding an attempted coup to remove Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise from office.

In a statement on Thursday, CARICOM said that it is monitoring the situation very closely and is urging “ all stakeholders to be guided by the Constitution, respect for the rule of law and the electoral process and in that regard is heartened by the fact that an electoral timetable has been set.”

“The Community is also deeply anguished about the security situation including the actions of armed gangs which threaten the maintenance of law and order in the country and disrupt the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.”

The regional body issued that statement following reports that earlier this week, opposition parties in Haiti declared 72-year-old judge Joseph Mecene Jean-Louis the country’s interim leader, a day after an alleged coup plot was foiled, as they insisted that President Jovenel Moise must step down.

In a video message, Jean-Louis, the longest-serving judge in the Supreme Court, said he “accepted the choice of the opposition and civil society, to serve (his) country as interim president for the transition”.

Moise, who has ruled by decree since mid-January, has stated he would hand over power to the winner of the elections but would not step down until his term expires in 2022.

But the opposition has rejected his interpretation of the constitution and has insisted his term came to an end on Sunday, February 7.

“We are waiting for Jovenel Moise to leave the Haiti National Palace, so that we can get on with installing Mr. Mecene Jean-Louis,” opposition figure Andre Michel told international news agency AFP.

Based on these latest developments, CARICOM has called on all parties to engage in “meaningful dialogue in the interest of peace and stability and strongly urges that action be taken to foster a safe environment, a return to normal life and the building of sustainable democratic institutions.”

CMC

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