Haiti’s Senate reduced by one third because of failure to hold legislative elections

Haitian Senate President Joseph Lambert

For the first time in a year, the Haitian Senate met on January 10, but with only seven of ten law makers in attendance. Consistent postponements of Haiti’s legislative elections resulted in the 30-seat senate being reduced to a third.

In a speech to Parliament, Senate President Joseph Lambert said, “today the Republic of Haiti is deprived of its Chamber of Deputies and its Senate is reduced to a third of its members, and exercise their mandate which expires on the second Monday of January 2023.”

Year of Haitian Dialogue

In his address, the Senate President suggested that 2022 be declared a ‘Year of Haitian Dialogue’ which will focus on bringing the nation out of what he termed a long crisis. He said this dialogue can vary from a national conference to a social or political dialogue.

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“I believe that our society is heavy in too serious events and that it can no longer do without this meeting. We need the authority of a convening power able to secure the responsible and enthusiastic participation of all sectors of national life,” he told the handful of legislators.

Lambert told the meeting that since the Haitian people proclaimed the Constitution of 1987 to adopt a democratic regime, the Legislature, on every second Monday in January, has the duty to unite the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies into one Assembly that has the power to open the legislative session.

The Senate president said “Haitians have very bad memories of the year 2021 which was one of great difficulties. Our country has experienced severe trials that have been experienced in various and varied forms. Popular demonstrations too often led by violent literature to produce demands of all kinds.”

Ongoing Disturbance

He said the ongoing situation has disturbed everything and that “voices claiming to be part of the democratic movement have not bothered to propose anything that is contrary to the standards and they encourage the revocation of the mandate of elected officials.

He further stated that “this approach which seems to ignore any measure carries a project which consists of overthrowing the institutions which until now constitute the main achievements of this democratic regime that we struggle to consolidate.”

Lambert said this is how for three long years, “calculated banditry” has allowed for many gangs operating throughout the country.

The Senate president noted that the consequences are serious on the national economy which is already thin, adding that the population left to itself collects its share of corpses when not called for a collection to pay the ransom demanded for the release of a loved one.

Lambert said he was using his address to outline his personal observation on the problems facing Haiti “because the statesman must explain his understanding of the situation without fear of exposing himself.

“Today more than yesterday, our country needs an outspokenness, a true word that relates to the fact Haitian social. And we focus too much on the economic situation in a behavior of a firefighter who never knew how to deliver results.

“For too long, we have been talking about a certain Haiti whose memories undermine the nostalgic still unable to admit that our country is not only made up of its towns, its pseudo-towns or its slums. Haiti is also and certainly the sum of its discarded, under-exploited communal sections, neglected and humiliated.”

Present situation

Lambert said the current challenges should convince Haitians to seriously consider the present situation noting that “everything has become illegal and it is legitimacy that must be sought.

“In any case, 2022 will be an election year in which passions will further widen the divides between the parties, the platforms or between the daughters and the sons of the Fatherland period.”

He said in principle, two-thirds of the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, the Communities and Municipalities are going to be renewed and that already questions are being asked about training and the legal provisions of the Electoral Council.

/CMC

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