Draft Resolution: POLITICAL CONSENSUS ON AN ORDERLY TRANSITION TO RESTORE SECURITY, HALT COLLAPSE, AND CREATE THE CONDITIONS FOR ACCEPTABLE ELECTIONS

By Rezo Nodwes, March 10, 2024

Unofficial translation

POLITICAL CONSENSUS ON AN ORDERLY TRANSITION TO RESTORE SECURITY, HALT COLLAPSE AND CREATE THE CONDITIONS FOR ACCEPTABLE ELECTIONS

March 9, 2024 Port-au-Prince

Your Excellencies,

At this particular moment of this acute, multidimensional crisis endangering the existence of our nation, we appreciate the good offices of CARICOM, which is assisting in our efforts to find a political consensus for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

A collapse of Haiti would be a tragedy that would undermine the peace and security of the entire region. CARICOM and the signatories are therefore historical, geographical and cultural partners who, in their solidarity, are called upon to work together to find solutions that will enable us to free ourselves from the grip of crime, violence, and impoverishment, and for Haiti to pave the way towards stability, ethical management of the state and the restoration of constitutional order.

We represent Haiti's main political, civic, and private sectors, religious institutions and the diaspora. We are not a coalition, but a range of forces which, over the past two (2) years, have led and participated in several consultations between different sectors and coalitions, facilitated by CARICOM and other international entities, including negotiations with the proponents of the September 11, 2021 and December 21, 2022 Accord, the Montana Accord of August 30, 2021, the institutional private sector, Fanmi Lavalas, the Collectif des Partis Politiques of January 30, 2022, the Signatories of the Kingston Declaration of June 15, 2023, the Rassemblement pour une Entente Nationale and other civil society and political players.

Faced with the extreme urgency of the current situation and the vacuum created by the inaction and subsequent departure of the incumbent government, and the rise in power of the gangs holding the country hostage, and strengthened by our commitments, our ongoing struggles and our relentless quest for a Haitian solution to the crisis, we have come together to draw up this reasonable and operational compromise. For us, it's a question of putting an end to this decay, of putting Haiti on the road to regaining its dignity by re-establishing institutional order, through the creation of a consensual, inclusive, bicameral transitional executive, representing the majority of political, civic, religious and economic players. 

This proposal for a transitional government is based on the following principles:

Inclusiveness: this proposal is representative of the majority of social and political players, bearing in mind that unanimity does not exist in any country, and does not constitute a democratic rule.

Integrity: the people who sit in a new government must represent the Haiti we are building - people of character and impeccable criminal record, competent and honest. Members of the new transitional government must never use their position in the state to engage in political activism, or collude with gangs and criminals.

Restoring peace: Haitians of different political persuasions must be able to work together to rebuild the country. No Haitian citizen should be condemned to exile.

Orderly transition: the installation of the transitional government must be managed in an orderly fashion, so as not to prolong the vacuum, which would lengthen the country's suffering and make the path to stability all the more difficult.

The basic elements of this new governance formula would be as follows:

A. A Transitional Presidential Council composed of five members appointed by the following sectors and alliances which, taken together, are essential to restoring Haiti's political, social and economic life:

The January 30 Collective of Political Parties;

The August 30, 2021 Accord / Montana Accord;

The Fanmi Lavalas party;

The institutional private sector;

Religious institutions.

The Collectif des partis politiques is proposed as a political coalition that should appoint a representative to the Conseil Présidentiel de Transition, as it represents an important sector of Haiti's political world. This entity has not yet expressed its agreement with all the elements of this proposal.

The decisions of the Presidential Council will be taken by consensus or, failing that, by a majority of its members, with each member having one vote. The Presidency of the Council will rotate every three (3) months.

Members of the Presidential Council will not participate in future elections.

Each member will be responsible for guiding and monitoring the evaluation of a national project linked to the challenges of the transition, which include i) national security; ii) economic recovery, food and health security; iii) the national conference, the constitutional question; iv) the rule of law and Justice; v) elections for the renewal of political personnel.

Appointments to the Presidential Council will be made on the basis of the following criteria: not to be leaders of political parties presenting candidates for election; to never have been charged with a criminal offence or sanctioned for fraud or corruption; never to have been a perpetrator of or associated with financial or bloodshed; never to have supported, encouraged or incited the use of violence.

B. Selection of an interim Prime Minister, on the basis of a list of up to three names proposed by the consensus stakeholders and in accordance with the criteria appended to this letter, to work with the Transitional Presidential Council. The Prime Minister may not take part in the forthcoming elections.

C. An inclusive, non-partisan government chosen by the Prime Minister in concert with the Transitional Presidential Council, in consultation with the wider consensus stakeholders as appropriate, to balance representation and effectiveness. Candidates will be identified on the basis of criteria of integrity, capacity, and tolerance, taking due account of all the country's social and political forces, possibly including members of the former government, meeting the selection criteria adopted (Criteria in appendix).

D. A National Security Council appointed immediately to assume responsibility for a national security response targeting the different dimensions of this crisis, overseeing its implementation in consultation with public, civic and security stakeholders, as well as international experts. The National Security Council will, in collaboration with the Haitian National Police, develop cooperation modalities linked to international security assistance (UNSC Resolution 2699 and others).

E. An Government Action Oversight Body (OCAG) made up of representatives of the civil society organizations and socio-professional associations signatory to the present document-whose mission will be to ensure the independence of the three powers (Government, CT and Judiciary) and to collaborate closely with the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Disputes (CSCCA), the Anti-Corruption Unit (ULCC), the Central Financial Information Unit (UCREF).

F. An independent and impartial Provisional Electoral Council of nine members chosen in the spirit of the provisions of article 289 of the 1987 Constitution to ensure a democratic, participatory electoral process over the next 18 to 24 months, on the basis of criteria protecting the integrity and credibility of the electoral process and respecting the rule of law, from a list of candidates. Qualified candidates will be presented by the following organizations: the Episcopal Conference, the Reformed Churches, the Human Rights Sector, universities, the Association of Journalists, the Diaspora, employers' associations, the Vodou sector, farmers' associations, women's rights associations and the trade union sector.

G. A transition observation group composed of representatives of the Haitian diaspora, suggested by the Haitian-American Foundation for Democracy, representatives of socio-professional associations, political parties and other social and national forces, functioning both as an accountability mechanism and as an advisory body to the Presidential Transition Council, to help develop policies and liaise with international partners.

H. A program of constitutional, electoral, institutional, security and economic reforms drawn up with the support of international partners.

I. A joint transition roadmap articulated around the following immediate priorities.

⚫ Designation of a rescue and national unity government comprising decentralized bodies and autonomous directorates.

⚫ Adoption of measures to restore security for the Haitian people, including the creation of a National Security Council as the central planning and management body for a multinational support mission, and reform of the Haitian National Police.

Appointment of the CEP and preparation of a detailed electoral roadmap.

Re-establish and clean-up collapsed state institutions, and implement the necessary transitional reforms.

Set up a commission to work on revising the Constitution.

Establishment of a commission to evaluate the process of producing and distributing unique national identity cards (CINU) and improving the electoral system.

⚫ Strengthening state institutions to combat corruption and impunity.

Preparation of a national conference.

- Preparation of an economic plan to support humanitarian and economic recovery, notably food security, within the framework of a public-private-associative partnership.

⚫ Creation of a Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Reconciliation Commission.

Definition with international partners of the conditions and modalities for implementing resolution 2699.

 

This proposal combines elements common to many of the proposals put forward by the country's social and political forces over the past two years. Consensus on these general points and other elements still requires conversations with other stakeholders.

To finalize this proposal with the main stakeholders, we propose the following procedure:

✓ Discussion between the stakeholders of this consensus and CARICOM;

✓ Presentation of this compromise proposal to (i) Collectif des Partis Politiques du 30 janvier; (ii) Haiti's international partners;

"Finalization of sectors, appointments, roadmap, timetable and transfer mechanism at a CARICOM-facilitated conference or series of conferences.

✓ Presentation of agreed interim governance and roadmap to the Haitian public ;

✓ Orderly transfer and entry into force of the transition political agreement.

 

Haiti can no longer wait. The time has come to decide, to move from the proposal to the implementation of transitional power. The commitment of CARICOM and other international partners is needed, in frank and sincere cooperation, if we are to emerge from the chaos and restore place and meaning to life. We look forward to discussing this with you as soon as possible.

 

ANNEXES Criteria for the role of Prime Minister: Background

 

The candidate must be a citizen born in Haiti.

The candidate must be thirty-five years of age or older.

The candidate must never have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offence.

The candidate must never have been sanctioned for fraud or corruption by a competent national or international authority.

The candidate must never have been associated with financial crimes or crimes of violence, and must never have been linked to a corruption or violence scandal.

The candidate must either be a landowner in Haiti, or have a professional activity in Haiti.

The candidate must have a habitual residence in Haiti and be committed to residing there throughout his/her term of office.

The candidate must have complied with legal obligations relating to taxation over the last five years, either towards Haiti or towards the country where he/she has resided.

If the candidate has been a public accountant, he/she must have received a favorable opinion from the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Disputes (CSCCA) concerning his/her financial management, or demonstrate that he/she is not subject to legal action due to the statute of limitations.

 

Professional achievements and skills The candidate must have :

Proven knowledge of Haitian public administration.

Knowledge of Haitian politics and the issues at stake in the country's deep crisis.

Excellent communication skills.

Negotiation skills.

The ability to unite people and build bridges between sectors.

The ability to work in a team and under pressure.

A career path that demonstrates strong leadership.

Decisiveness, courage and the ability to implement difficult reforms.

No bias towards anyone in the political or economic sector, and the ability to lead the transition in a non-partisan way.

Empathy for the suffering of the Haitian people.

 

Translated by CHIP editors

 

Posted March 13, 2024