The political class is divided over the demand for Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign

By Robenson Geffard, Le Nouvelliste, Sept. 8, 2023 

The country is sinking further and further into chaos and anarchy. Armed gangs bring the population of the metropolitan area to its knees. The signatories of the December 21st agreement and the opposition blame each other for the country's current situation. For those close to the Henry government, dialogue is necessary, but the question of who will occupy the position of Prime Minster is non-negotiable. For the opposition, Ariel Henry must first resign before any negotiations can take place.

The CARICOM emissaries who have been in the country since Monday for a third attempt at negotiations find themselves caught between the intransigence of some and the indifference of others. While the armed gangs are at war with the population, those close to the government and the opposition are engaged in an unproductive war of mutual accusations.

"Since the assassination of the President, the heirs of the bloody coup d'état of July 6 and 7, in collusion with the proponents of the so-called December 21 agreement, have been carrying out a genocidal plan aimed at depopulating the country...", the signatories of the Montana agreement accused in a press release. According to them, it is the powers that be that are encouraging the gangs' repeated massacres against the population. "A sector of the international community and a group of the country's business sector are complicit in all the crimes against humanity (of the armed gangs)," continued the signatories of the Montana accord. 

"Akò Montana lanse yon apèl bay tout patriyòt ki wè nesesite pou frennen tren jenosid sa a ki fin deraye, pote kole pou rive jwenn prese demisyon Premye minis de fakto Ariel Henry ak tout gouvènman kriminèl PHTK a ki kidnape peyi nou an," launched the Montana Accord signatories.

In addition to the signatories of the Montana Accord, Himmler Rébu, who appeared on Thursday morning's Panel Magik program, said that other signatories of the Kingston Joint-Declaration are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry. 

The political organization EDE, signatory to the Kingston Joint-Declaration, also demanded the Prime Minister's resignation. The party holds Ariel Henry responsible for the country's current situation. "Faced with this failure, the political party EDE can only reiterate its position by calling for and demanding the resignation of Ariel Henry and his government. EDE believes that this resignation, which must be understood as the direct political consequence of Mr. Ariel Henry's incompetence and recklessness, has the potential to create the political atmosphere necessary for the establishment of a government of national unity with a view to refounding interim governance" (sic), wrote Dr. Claude Joseph, head of EDE in a press release issued this week.

Fanmi Lavalas' position is totally different. They are also a signatory of the Kingston Joint-Declaration. "No, the Fanmi Lavalas organization is not calling for a resignation. On the other hand, the organization is demanding that the government re-establish security throughout the country", Fanmi Lavalas board member Joël Vorbe told Le Nouvelliste on Friday. 

"We must no longer accept this climate of terror. It's inhuman to ask people to go through this kind of trauma. It's the government's responsibility. After more than a year of waiting for foreign aid that won't be coming any time soon, they have to take responsibility for the population, and if they can't do that, now is the time more than ever to sit down and find the minimum consensus around governance, ensuring a balance of power," said Mr. Vorbe. 

According to Joël Vorbe, "it is inconceivable, given the inapplicability of the Constitution, that the government, headed by the Prime Minister, and the Council of Ministers, again headed by the Prime Minister, should play both roles, head of government and head of the executive. The crisis is too serious to want to lead alone. We have enough competent men and women to support us as we emerge from the crisis," asserted Mr. Vorbe. 

In a published press release, the signatories of the December 21 agreement assert that "dialogue, compromise and elections are the best ways to come to power". In their view, the other political players have shown no willingness to engage in dialogue. 

"This situation is causing the country to malfunction, with serious consequences for the population. We, the signatories of the December 21 agreement, in the face of the atrocities committed by criminals against the population and the challenges faced by the forces of law and order, support the efforts of Ariel Henry's government to combat planned insecurity...", declared the signatories of the December 21 agreement, reiterating their call for a multinational force to be sent to Haiti to dismantle the armed groups.

The signatories of the December 21st agreement reject any suggestion that the Prime Minister should resign. 

At a time when the two parties should be back at the negotiating table, aided by the presence of CARICOM emissaries in the country, the signatories of the December 21 and Montana agreements are doing what they've always done: going round in circles, accusing each other of not wanting to engage in dialogue...


Translated & edited for clarity by CHIP editors


Posted Sept. 17, 2023