Motion to Impeach Haitian President Jovenel Moise Rejected

Jovenel Moise, the winner of Haiti's presidential election, speaks during an interview in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Jeanty Junior Augustin/Files

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Legislators have rejected an opposition-inspired motion aimed at impeaching President Jovenel Moise whom they had accused of high treason, violating the Haitian violated and was leading the country to “the edge of the social explosion”.

Following a third attempt to debate the motion in as many weeks this week, the legislators voted overwhelming to defeat the move with 53 Deputies voting against the measure, three in favour and five abstaining.

Like in the previous attempts, the Chamber of Deputies had difficulties in getting the necessary quorum and when the Chamber was called to order on Wednesday afternoon, only 64 deputies were present resulting in the Speaker Gary Bodeau announced a 30-minute suspension.

But when the matter resumed more than an hour later, opposition legislator, Rodon Bien-Aimé, asked the President to verify the quorum, resulting in 83 members being present for the debate.

The motion was then put to the Chamber for debate with legislators demanding all documents relating to the accusation and had forced a postponement when the Chamber met earlier this month to debate the issue.

But following another suspension on Wednesday, opposition member of the Lavalas party, Vikerson Garnier, claimed not all the requested documents had been provided.

“They are deceivers. They simply want to damage the reputation of the President of the Republic,” said Claude Lesly Pierre, who later voted against the motion.

Another legislator, Ronald Etienne, called for a truce, saying “we have a country to build and we are wasting too much time”.

As the debate continued on Thursday night, another legislator Wilson Hyppolite, whose proposal was supported by 71 other members of the Chamber, called on the Speaker to put to the vote the approach concerning the request of indictment.

But Bodeau ruled “the “proposal of the majority is rejected and considered inadmissible”.

However, when the attempt was made to have the motion to impeach Moise read by the First Secretary, Gladice St. Jean, the move provoked the anger of legislators with some claiming that the motion could not be read until the required documents were presented and studied.

But despite the protest, the motion was read and during the debate, Jacob Latortue urged fellow legislators to forget their personal interests and “put yourself today in the shoes of the Haitian people who suffer.

“I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, to vote in favour of the impeachment request,” he said.

However, the majority of the deputies, most of whom are aligned to Moise’s party, rejected the motion and voted against it.

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