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Haiti Swears in Senate Chief Jocelerme Privert as Provisional President

1xMGTmpr_400x400Haiti’s lawmakers selected an opposition senator who served as interior minister under former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as interim president on Sunday, in a move aimed at filling a power vacuum threatening stability in the Caribbean nation.

Senate chief Jocelerme Privert, 63, was sworn in on Sunday as the provisional president. His main task will be to quickly organize fresh elections.

Haiti canceled a runoff presidential election in January amid often violent protests over alleged fraud in the first round and after the opposition candidate boycotted the vote.

Privert vowed to complete the elections and hand over to an elected president by May 14. “I will engage in dialogue with all sectors to get the country out of crisis,” he said.

Former President Michel Martelly finished his term a week ago with no elected successor.

Under an agreement struck before Martelly left office, the interim government will have a 120-day term but should organize elections by April 24, and hand power over to the winner in May.

Privert’s selection could help calm the protests led by factions of Aristide’s Lavalas movement, which believed elections organized under Martelly were not free and fair.

After Aristide was forced from power in 2004 by armed groups, Privert was jailed for two years on charges that he orchestrated a massacre of Aristide’s opponents. The charges were later dropped.

Lavalas spokesman Gerald Gilles welcomed the development. “The election of Privert is a great satisfaction for us and for the democratic sector,” he said.

Another opposition party, a breakaway faction of Aristide’s movement called Platform Pitit Dessalines, was more cautious and called for Privert to create a balanced electoral council acceptable to all sides.

A major challenge for Privert will be to reach an agreement about who can participate in the election, with many opposition parties rejecting the October results that led to a two-man race between opposition candidate Jude Celestin and ruling party favorite Jovenel Moise.

The last time there was an interim government in Haiti was after Aristide’s ouster and it took two years to hold elections.


What people are saying

4 thoughts on “Haiti Swears in Senate Chief Jocelerme Privert as Provisional President

  1. Michel Nau says:

    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it…..and find out later that you really don't want it. The Haitian people really want it, so let’s give it to them. Lavalas Party is back in power…again. The former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who became Haiti's first democratically elected president was toppled in 1991 by a military coup d’état under the George Bush presidency. Then brought back in 1994 under heavy security by Democrat President William J. Clinton. In 2004 under the George Bush (son) administration, he was hauled out of the country, and sent to exile in South Africa where he stayed for seven years before coming back in 2011 under the Obama Administration. The newly elected Haiti Provisional president Jocelerme Privert served as interior minister under former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. His presence now means Lavalas and Aristide are back in the palace, and they won’t let it go. Sometimes, it takes more than one time to get sometime right, especially when you are being interrupted numerous times during your experimentation. Unfortunately, if a Republican (Trump, Cruz, or another Bush) becomes the new president of the United States, one can expect that the new government of Haiti is going to be under the microscope again. In other hand, if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders makes it, then, that could be an uninterrupted revolution for the Haitian people.

  2. Michel Nau says:

    It’s sad to see with a coup de force, the Legislative body took over the Executive branch, and with a backhand smack tossed the Judiciary in the back burner. Be careful what you wish for! Don’t try to get what is not yours you might lose everything. Just a major observation about schedule of events. From February 14, the day Jocelerme Privert became Haiti’s Interim President to May 14 that’s 90 days not 120 days. So therefore Interim President Jocelerme Privert term should end June 14, 2016. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

  3. Michel Nau says:

    It materialized what everyone anticipated Senate President Jocelerme Privert became Haiti’s Interim President (for no more than 120 days), and handed over his resignation letter from the Senate. His core job of 120 days is to supervise the Parliament’s selection of a Prime Minister who will be in charge to organize the next presidential election, and the remaining 31 parliamentarians. As I said before Jocelerme Privert is looking forward to stay in this position for more than 120 days. Martelly couldn’t put his banana man in to power, he maliciously left the country in mayhem. My advice to the next president is not to entree to power with gun and violence, but with ideas, and with a social project, and never have your name engraved at the wrong side of history.

  4. Rubens Titus says:

    Haiti has never been a democracy, ever whether it be under Petion, Boyer, Duvalier, Aristide, Martelly, or else. Haiti's political system is based on personal vendetta and antagonism. The time has come for Haitians to come together to repair 208 years of oligarchic form of government instead of continuously pointing fingers at which (de-facto) presidents hurt Haiti the most. A proposal to move on is presented in the book titled "Roadmap to Haiti's Next Revolution – Capitalizing Haiti's Economy with diaspora Remittances.". Political actions are more than often illegitimate in Haiti since the rules are made by the oligarchs during the game; the constitution is rarely followed. Stay out of Haiti's antagonistic politics or get involved to change it.

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