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Since the news broke that Guy Philippe, the elected Haitian Senator who was arrested in January and sent to the US intends to plead guilty on all the charges of drug trafficking and money laundering  against him, it is now time for Haitian politicians who have vehemently defended him and those who had campaigned with him publicly but have remain silent since his arrest, to explain themselves. Or try to explain their position despite the international arrest warrant that was emitted against Guy Philippe by the DEA since 2006.

Haitian Senator-elect, Guy Philippe, to plead guilty on drug trafficking and money laundering charges



One of the first officials to speak out was Guichard Doré, President Jovenel Moise's Special Counselor.

Jovenel Moise as a presidential candidate publicly campaigned with Guy Philippe; there are endless pictures of them smiling and hugging each other. One of the first appearances of then candidate Jovenel Moise with Guy Philipe was heavily criticized by many of Moise's critiques, as well as human rights organizations, including the National Network of Human Rights (RNDDH). Jovenel Moise who was the President-elect of Haiti a the time of Guy Philippe's arrest, has avoided making any reference whatsoever regarding his former good friend. The President's silence has fuel the rumors about his connections with Philippe whose list of endless crimes, including a coup d'Etat against the democratically elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004, has been well known to the public.

When Guy Philippe and Jovenel Moise were together during the election campaign, "to my knowledge, Guy Philippe enjoyed all his freedom, which is why he was a candidate. If Haitian justice reproached him for anything, he could not have had some documents ... ", said Tuesday, to Le Nouvelliste Guichard Doré, special adviser to the Head of State. However, he acknowledged that the police had access to the files on Guy Philippe that "the poor candidate for the presidency Jovenel Moise did not at the time since he was a candidate like the others ..."

The Haitian Senate which expressed its outrage by passing a strong worded resolution condemning the arrest of Guy Philippe and asked for the prosecution of the minister of Justice who had authorized the arrest and extradition, is staying mute.

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19 of the 24 senators voted in favor of the resolution that called for an amendment to the extradition treaty between the US and Haiti also demanded for return of Philippe “and all those who are illegally detained in the United States under the agreement of 17 October 1997”.

What happened to that resolution? Well President Jovenel Moise never signed it into law.  According to the President's Special Counselor, Guichard Dore during that same interview with Le Nouvelliste explained that the Presidency had no information about Guy Philippe's disputes with the judiciary and "to protect republican institutions and allow the State to have morality at the highest level, the Presidency had used the reason of State not to publish the resolution."

Evaliere Beauplan, President of the Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, one of the five senators who abstained from voting on the resolution said "We did not want to take part in this session because we knew it would have consequences for the Senate in particular and the country in general."

Beauplan also thinks that his fellow senate "must ask for forgiveness for misleading the Haitian people."

The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), the body responsible for organizing election in the country was also forced to comment on the scandal to clarify what would become of Guy Philippe's seat in the Senate since he has plead guilty to the criminal charges against him and is expected to serve a lengthy jail sentence.

 Uder Antoine, the executive director of the CEP pointed out that the electoral decree is silent on the procedures for the annulment of the election of an elected senator who had not yet taken the oath of office. As a result, the CEP is studying two hypotheses to replace Guy Philippe.  

The first, according to Mr. Antoine, would be to hold special elections in Grand'Anse. The second possibility, he said, would be to elect the candidate who had arrived in second place. 

However, the CEP will await the final verdict of the American justice before deciding and take a final decision on the file of Guy Philippe who remains the elected senator of Grand'Anse. 

How could Guy Philippe be elected senator of the Republic while he was wanted by the American justice on a number of serious crimes? "Guy Philippe had in his files all the documents required by law. He had one of the best prepared dossiers at the CEP. No missing parts, no anomalies ... ", remarked the Executive Director of the CEP. Mr. Antoine who called on the institutions of the country that issue certificates to the candidates to take their responsibilities. He stressed that it is not the CEP which gives the certificates of good life and morals for the candidates nor for anyone.