Michel Martelly steps down as Haiti president without a successor

Posted by hougansydney.com on Monday, February 8, 2016 Under: Haiti's Political Crisis

Today Haiti awakes without a president, last night at midnight, Michel Martelly step down as president of Haiti as the constitution requires.

Fighting back tears, the former president has emptied his desk, thanked his staff and promised to take a break from public life for a while to focus on what matters most to him: his family and music .

The de facto Prime Minister Paul Evans remains in office until a new president and a new prime minister can be chosen by parliament. This new government will have the difficult task of organizing the elections four years overdue in no more than 120 days.

Regarding the choice of interim president, the main political parties will enter into consultation with civil society, who will recommend the names of those who have the skills to serve as President.

Although some implementations have taken place, such as building schools and some public infrastructure, the former president leaves behind a mixed legacy clouded by an electoral crisis that has derailed the social stability of Haiti, from the first round of parliamentary elections and presidential. The balance sheet of the end of the terms of Michel Martelly is sad and bitter. The gourds is a skin currency. $ 1 = 62 gourdes; the price of food and other commodities have destabilized households, Haiti's external debt soared under his administration. $ 3 billion.

Beginning of the crisis

Former President Michel Martelly, could not reach agreement with senators who formed the opposition bloc to organize the elections, despite all the consensus reached by the President such as the resignation of Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the extension of the Senate's mandate for a short term beyond its expiring date, the appointment of Paul Evans, the head of the moderate opposition and the resignation of judge and President of CSPJ Arnel BĂ©lizaire, all in efforts to avoid the worsening of the crisis.

The terms of the parliament had expired before an agreement could be reached, leaving the president to rule by decree.  After the dissolution of Parliament, Michel Martelly issued a decree for the organizations of the elections. After three years of simmering political unrest and delayed polls, the rusty machinery of Haiti election was finally started.

But many were left greatly disappointed after the first round of parliamentary elections that took place on August 9, given the high rate of observed irregularities and violence that marred the conduct of voting.

But, under the advice of the international community and his entourage, the president went ahead with the elections, saying that the level of irregularities had not disrupted the whole process.

Immediately after the publication of the results of the first round of presidential elections held on October 25, massive protests against the results were evolving throughout the country. The demonstrators declared that a massive fraud had taken place in favor of the candidate chosen by Michel Martelly to replace him Jovenel Moise.

They called for an independent commission to investigate allegations of fraud that were denounced by local and international observers as well as organizations of human rights.

But under pressure from the international community, the president initially refused the request to set up an independent commission, until he realized that the massive protests and violence were increasing. Moreover, the candidate who allegedly came in second place, Jude Celestin said he was not going to participate in the "electoral farce", leaving the second round with a single candidate.

Meanwhile, a corruption scandal shook the Haitian media, destabilizing further the process. CEP members and judges of the Electoral Tribunal were accused of accepting bribes in exchange for a favorable decisions. Bank receipts among other evidence were presented to the public.

After the corruption scandal, the president finally agreed to set up an evaluation commission to investigate alleged frauds. But when the commission came out with a report showing that the widespread fraudulent activities in fact had occur the president refused to implement the recommendation of its own commission. Recommendations such as the removal of CEP members accused of corruption.

After the postponement of the elections for the third time, it became clearer than ever that the elections would not take place.

However, the confident president himself kept insisting until the most violent manifestation shook Port-au-Prince, just five days before the announced date for the second round of presidential elections.

Finally the head of the CEP decided to indefinitely postponed. At this point, the majority of the electorate of 9 members had resigned. Leaving the president with little choice but to leave on February 7th as prescribed by the Haitian Constitution, without a successor.

In : Haiti's Political Crisis 

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