OAS to Discuss Haiti’s Request for Mission to Visit the Country

Haiti President, Jovenel Moise
Haiti's President, Jovenel Moise

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) will meet later on Wednesday to discuss the “establishment of the OAS mission to the Republic of Haiti”.

Prime Minister Claude Joseph had earlier sent a letter to the hemispheric body seeking support for the staging of a referendum in June and elections scheduled for later this year.

In his April 28 letter to OAS Secretary-General, Luis Almagro, the Haitian prime minister urged the OAS to send a mission to the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country in support of the ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders.

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Joseph said that the aim of the dialogue would be to reach a “political agreement likely to facilitate the organization of the constitutional referendum and elections at all levels during the year 2021 according to the timetable established for this purpose.

“I take this opportunity to reaffirm the unwavering will of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Jovenel Moïse, and of the government to do everything possible to guarantee the organization of free, honest and democratic elections to renew the political staff and ensure the transfer of power to a President elected on February 7, 2022,” Joseph wrote.

Earlier this month, Haiti signalled its intention to hold the controversial referendum ahead of presidential and general elections despite growing international criticism.

“A referendum is an act of sovereignty. It essentially concerns Haitians: they are the ones who decide whether or not they want a referendum to change the Constitution,” Prime Minister Claude Joseph told a news conference.

The United States has already reiterated its position that elections should be held in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. Washington has also said it does not intend to provide financial support for the constitutional referendum.

President Jovenel Moise, who has been facing calls for his resignation, has been ruling by decree after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed and following disputes on when his own term ends. In addition to presidential, legislative and local elections in September, Moise wants to submit a new draft of the constitution to a popular vote on June 27.