Posted by Sydney Noel on Friday, April 12, 2013 Under: Economy
On April 10th, 2013, Marie-Carmelle Jean Marie, Haiti's Minister of Finance has resigned from the head of the country's finance ministry, effective immediately.
Before we go into the details of her resignation, first we should talk about what kind of woman Marie-Carmelle Jean Marie was as the country's economy chief. Rigorous, professional; a woman who valued integrity above all, and wasn't afraid to tell it like it is. Even when her messages were directed to her bosses the President and Prime Minister of the country. Michel Martelly and Laurent Lamothe. She made it pretty clear in numerous ministry meetings that the government must cut wasteful spending and reduced "unecessary" foreign trips. Marie-Carmel was the only high ranking Haitian officials critical of the International community's Haiti's debt forgiveness. She stated that while she welcomed the news, she did not support it, because it only highlights the fact that Haiti cannot meet it's obligations financially, and is not doing anything to change it. "Haiti must bring its fiscal income closer to expenditure, so it could demonstrate its liquidity to creditors and credit rating agencies." Marie-Carmell Jean Marie believed that a governance based on austerity was the best way to repair the country's fragile economy, Many in the Haitian political debauchery saw her austerity approach as damaging to the country, amidst it's long road to recovery. Many, including the President Michel Martelly made it clear that Haiti was at a stage where government spending should not be restricted, in consideration of the level of investment needed in the sectors of education, agriculture, housing and tourism. Marie-Carmelle in the other hand believe that the government must instead facilitate private investments by strengthening the laws of the country. While Marie Carmelle supported some of the spending of the government, she has kept her position:
" We should not allow wasteful spending spree, in futile ideas that have been proven to be noneffective." Marie Carmelle Jean Marie did not leave anything out when penning her resignation letter:
"(...) The exercised of the Minister of Economy and Finance in any democratic government requires a lot of discipline and self-denial. This is a very ungrateful role but that I assumed from the first day, With heart and conviction. The objectives assigned to the Minister of Economy and finance is to keep the cap of the wisdom and, of the constancy, not to restrict the governmental action, but to put it in the virtuous path of respect of prescribed rules, such as the macro-economic stabiltiy, which is not only a necessary condition suistanability of public actins to create jobs, but also to restore Haiti's image both inside and outside today degraded. I think that I can say that I have spared no efforts like those of my teams to get there.
Moreover, we cannot be content with outdated practices and yesterday sanctioned by an evaluation conducted according to the international of the P.E.F.A's assessment and who ranks us among the least virtuous states in term of management of public finances. That is why I made a point to pursue a consistent and courageous reform of tax and custom administrations, whether policies, structures, of their organizations and practices. This is also why I made a point to initiate a major reform in the management of public finances, in its rules, its instruments, its practices, including at the level of transparency, particularly in term of allocation of budgetary funds and the procurement.
Arrived at this point, I can only note that I no longer have the support expected in all these points. I can fight against adversity and against external hazard that hit with regularity our country, but not against the lack of solidarity with my own peers.
It is therefore with regret, considering the path that lies ahead, but also with the feeling that I accomplished each day with honor and respect my duties as Minister of the Republic, I present to you my resignation from the government with immediate effect.
I take this opportunity to renew to you, Mr Prime Minister, the assurances of my highest consideration.
The government tried to downplay the significance of Marie Carmelle Jean Marie's resignation, but it is a little too late. Marie Carmelle Jean Marie was one of the 3 most competent members in the Haitian Government, but also the most trusted and respected by the international community. Her sounds judgment and critical, effective, rigid, thinking approaches, made her to be known as "Haiti's Iron Lady"
Her resignation is a catastrophic loss for Haiti at this point in time, and one of the Martelly-Lamothe government's greatest faux pas; perpetuating the international community's perception of Haiti, as a country where its leaders refuse to follow the rule of laws and good economic governance or transparency. In other words, a failed State; and, the continuing realization of many, including large numbers of Haitians in Haiti and in the diaspora, of the incompetency of the current government.
-The President has not made the organizations of elections a priority. The Elections to replace 2/3 of the parliament, because of mandate expiration and mayors for a great number of cities, are years overdue.
- Haiti will never succeed until the press is granted the ultimate rights to investigate, report and discuss the political climate and government activities in the country. Members of the Press are harassed and intimidated.
-The respect of the law by all, including government officials, from all three branches of the Republic; the Legislative, The Executive and Judicial's, is not applied
-Citizens hand picked by the President and Prime Minister are occupying public offices that require elections.
-Two years after assuming the Presidency, over 300.000 people are still living under tents in the street of Port-au-Prince, as a result of the deadly 2010 earthquake.
-Laws regulating and overseeing Funds collected as part of the new tax increase on money transfers and international phone calls, are still not even created, despite the collection of millions of dollars for the past 2 years.
While no one expects the current Haitian Government to fix Haiti's centuries of problems in a short period of time, its contribution to the worsening or no progress of the country's failure should not be accepted under no circumstances.
After the depart of Minister Marie Carmelle, many are just Hoping that the Minister of Tourism, Stephanie Villedrouin does not reach such a decision, as she is one the very few competent ones left. But who could blame her if she decides to no tarnished her reputation.
The long path to a more prosperous Haiti, where the people can live and reached their full human potential and finally live up to the grandiosity of their nation's glorious past and contributions to Humanity; is very long, and it pains me to say that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is missing and not, in near sights.
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In : Economy
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