Political parties reject the plan to install new leaders in Haiti

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A proposal to install new leadership in Haiti appeared to be crumbling Wednesday as some political parties rejected the plan to create a presidential council that would manage the transition.
The panel would be responsible for selecting an interim prime minister and a council of ministers that would attempt to chart a new path for the Caribbean country that has been overrun by gangs.
The violence has closed schools and businesses and disrupted daily life across Haiti.
Jean Charles Moïse, an ex-senator and presidential candidate who has teamed up with former rebel leader Guy Philippe, held a news conference Wednesday to announce his rejection of the proposed council backed by the international community.
Moïse insisted that a three-person presidential council he recently created with Philippe and a Haitian judge should be implemented.
“We are not going to negotiate it,” he said in a loud voice as he wiped his forehead with a handkerchief.
“We have to make them understand.”His ally Philippe, who helped lead a successful revolt in 2004 against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and was recently released from a U.S. prison after pleading guilty to money laundering, said no Haitian should accept any proposal from the international community.
In a video posted Tuesday on social media, Philippe accused the community of being complicit with Haiti’s elite and corrupt politicians and urged Haitians to take to the streets.
“The decision of Caricom is not our decision,” he said, referring to the regional trade bloc whose leaders presented the plan to create a transitional council.
“Haitians will decide who will govern Haiti.”Other high-profile Haitian politicians declined to participate in the proposed transitional council.
Among them were Himmler Rébu, former colonel of Haiti’s army and president of the Grand Rally for the Evolution of Haiti, a party that is part of a coalition awarded a spot on the transitional council.
He said in a statement that the party prefers that a judge from Haiti’s Supreme Court assume the reins of power.
Rébu added that the party is “ashamed and angry” upon seeing “the search for positions of power that do not take into account the responsibilities attached to them.”Meanwhile, a former senator, Sorel Jacinthe, and a young politician, Jorchemy Jean Baptiste, both supporters of Prime Minister Ariel Henry and the Dec. 21 coalition that backs him, called Radio Caraïbes separately Wednesday to argue why their choice for the transitional council was the best one.
Caribbean leaders who announced the plan for the transitional council did not respond to messages for comment.
The plan emerged late Monday following an urgent meeting involving Caribbean leaders, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others who were searching for a solution to halt Haiti’s crisis of violence.
Hours after the meeting, Henry announced Tuesday that he would resign once the council was in place, saying that his government “cannot remain insensitive to this situation.”Henry remains locked out of Haiti because gang attacks have shuttered the country’s airports.
He is currently in Puerto Rico.
The gang attacks began Feb. 29, when Henry was in Kenya to push for the U.N.-backed deployment of a Kenyan police force.
The deployment has been temporarily suspended.
“My concern is that the longer there is a power vacuum and an effort to figure out a way forward on the political side, every day that delays resolutions, many, many people are dying,” said William O’Neill, the U.N.’s independent expert on human rights in Haiti.
Armed men in the capital of Port-au-Prince have set fire to police stations and stormed the country’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates.
Among those who fled are gang leaders of at least seven communities, according to a new report by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, known as BINUH.
As of March 10, gunmen attacked, looted or torched at least 30 state institutions, more than 600 homes and private businesses and nearly 500 public and private vehicles, BINUH said.
Gangs also have attacked neighborhoods in a rampage that has left scores dead and more than 15,000 homeless.
More than 130 people were killed between Feb. 27 and March 8.
Meanwhile, at least 40 gang members were killed between Feb. 29 and March 10, according to BINUH.
“This is absolutely catastrophic,” O’Neill said.
“I describe Port-au-Prince now as an open-air prison.
There is no way to get out: land, air or sea.
The airport is still not functioning.”By Tuesday, the attacks were subsiding, with some businesses and banks reopening, although schools and gas stations remained closed.
Public transportation restarted, and more Haitians could be seen Wednesday going about their business.
While some activity has resumed, many people are still concerned that gangs might resume their attacks.
Caricom gave the organizations that were offered positions on the council until Wednesday to submit th

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A plan to form a presidential council to oversee the transition appeared to be failing on Wednesday, as some political parties opposed the idea of putting new leadership in place in Haiti.

The committee would be in charge of choosing a temporary prime minister and a council of ministers to try and reorganize the gang-infested Caribbean nation. In addition to disrupting daily life throughout Haiti, the violence has closed schools and businesses.

The international community’s recommended council was rejected by former senator and presidential candidate Jean Charles Moïse, who teamed up with former rebel leader Guy Philippe, during a press conference on Wednesday.

Moïse was adamant that the three-person presidential council he had just formed with Philippe and a judge from Haiti be put into action.

He wiped a handkerchief across his forehead and declared loudly, “We are not going to negotiate it.”. We need to elucidate this to them. “.

Philippe, his ally who led the successful uprising against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004 and who was just freed from a U.S. s. declared that no Haitian should accept any offer from the international community after entering a guilty plea to money laundering.

Philippe called for Haitians to take to the streets in a video that was shared on social media on Tuesday, accusing the community of collegial support for the country’s corrupt politicians and elite.

“We do not endorse the decision of Caricom,” he declared, alluding to the regional trade association whose representatives had put forth the proposal to establish a transitional council. “Who will lead Haiti will be decided by its people. “.

Several prominent Haitian lawmakers declined to be part of the suggested transitional council. Himmler Rébu, a former army colonel from Haiti and the head of the Grand Rally for the Evolution of Haiti, a party granted a seat on the transitional council as part of a coalition, was one of them.

He stated in a statement that the party would rather see the reins of power turned over to a judge from Haiti’s Supreme Court.

Rébu went on to say that the party is “angry and ashamed” at the “seeking of positions of power without considering the responsibilities that go along with them.”. “.

In the meantime, Jorchemy Jean Baptiste, a young politician, and Sorel Jacinthe, a former senator, who backed Prime Minister Ariel Henry and the Dec. 21 coalition, which supports him, made a separate call to Radio Caraïbes on Wednesday to defend their selection for the transitional council.

Those in the Caribbean who made the announcement about the transitional council plan did not reply to messages seeking comment.

Following an urgent meeting with leaders from the Caribbean, the U.S. S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and all those looking for a way to stop the bloodshed in Haiti.

Following the meeting, Henry declared shortly after that his government “cannot remain insensitive to this situation” and that he would step down once the council was in place. “.

Due to gang-related airport closures, Henry is still unable to enter Haiti. Right now, he’s in Puerto Rico.

The gang attacks started on February. 29, the time Henry traveled to Kenya to advocate for the U. N. -supported the establishment of a Kenyan police force. The deployment has been halted in the interim.

“My concern is that a great number of people are dying every day that resolutions are delayed due to the prolonged power vacuum and political efforts to find a way forward,” William O’Neill, the U.S. N. independent authority on Haitian human rights.

Over 4,000 prisoners have been released from the nation’s two largest prisons after armed men in Port-au-Prince attacked and set fire to police stations. According to a new report by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, or BINUH, among those who left are gang leaders from at least seven communities.

Gunmen targeted, stole from, or set fire to nearly 500 public and private vehicles as well as over 600 homes and businesses as well as at least 30 state institutions, according to BINUH. This information was obtained on March 10.

Additionally, on a rampage that has left scores dead and over 15,000 homeless, gangs have attacked neighborhoods. Between Feb. and March of this year, over 130 people died. March 8 and March 27. At least 40 gang members were slain between February and March of this year. 29 and March 10, in line with BINUH.

O’Neill exclaimed, “This is completely disastrous.”. At this point, I characterize Port-au-Prince as an outdoor jail. There’s no escape route via land, air, or sea. The airport is still not operating properly. “.

Schools and gas stations remained closed, but by Tuesday the attacks had subsided and some banks and businesses had reopened. On Wednesday, more Haitians were observable going about their daily lives as public transportation was resumed.

Even though some activity has picked back up, many people are still worried that gangs will start attacking again.

Caricom extended the deadline for the organizations to submit the names of representatives for their positions on the council until Wednesday. There was no list submitted as of Wednesday noon.

Seven of the nine positions on the council have voting rights.

Pitit Desalin, Jean-Charles’ party; EDE/RED, a party headed by the former prime minister Claude Joseph; the Montana Accord, a coalition of political parties, leaders of civil society, and others; Aristide’s party, Fanmi Lavalas; and the Jan. Michel Martelly, the former president’s party, is among those represented by the 30 Collective; the Dec. The private sector and the 21 Agreement, a group that supported Henry, were involved.

Members of Haiti’s religious and civil society would be chosen for the two non-voting seats that remain.

Who would get a council seat if some political parties rejected it was not immediately apparent.

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