Political party representatives seek consensus with British diplomat Jonathan Powell prior to CARICOM negotiations

By Alterpresse, August 7, 2023

According to information gathered by the AlterPresse, representatives from different political parties, including de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry, are reportedly seeking a compromise prior to formal negotiations, with a view to finding a solution to Haiti's multi-dimensional, multi-year crisis.

According to a source close to the discussions who requested anonymity, the parties have agreed to re-establish a bicameral executive power structure, with a presidential college and a prime minister at the head of a national unity government.

Agreement remains elusive on the issue of the permanency of the prime minister and the president.

The source reports that at least five meetings have taken place over the past two weeks, from late July to early August 2023 in the capital, Port-au-Prince, between the main political parties.

The discussions brought together representatives of several political parties, the de facto Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, and emissary Jonathan Powell, former head of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet and consultant for the "Inter Mediate" non-profit mediation organization

"It's a negotiating table, which followed on from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) negotiations, in order to find, first of all, an amicable consensus, after which to begin formal negotiations", the source explained, indicating that several political organizations took part in these meetings.

In particular, the source cites the Fanmi Lavalas political party and the groups of eight political parties involved in the January 30, 2023 declaration, the August 30, 2021 "Montana Accord" and the Kingston Joint-declaration.

The eight political parties supporting the January 30, 2023 declaration are Pitit Desalin, Union nationale pour l'intégrité et la réconciliation (UNIR, Kontrapèpla, Organisation du peuple en lutte (OPL), Mouvement patriotique populaire dessalinien (MOPOD), Ligue alternative pour le progrès et l'émancipation haïtienne (LAPEH), Grand rassemblement pour l'évolution d'Haïti (GREH), Parti haïtien tèt kale (PHTK).

During the talks Powell proposed a document on which each protagonist would have to work to come up with another, which, according to the source, could be revised.

Nothing has been done so far, the source explained. Concessions were also made, however, during discussions concerning the presidential college.

In an interview with AlterPresse on March 16, 2023,OPL  said that Powell would be serving the United States of America in the negotiations.

The international community, notably CARICOM, has been engaged in a number of discussions over the past few months with a view to finding a solution to the multi-dimensional crisis in Haiti.

A second inter-Haitian summit was organized in Port-au-Prince from July 12 to 15, 2023, by former prime ministers Kenny Anthony of St. Lucia, Perry Christie of the Bahamas and Bruce Golding of Jamaica, as well as Trinidadian ambassador Colin Granderson, as a follow-up to the discussions held in Jamaica in June 2023.

Unfortunately, nothing concrete had been announced after the series of talks held from July 12 to 15, 2023 in Port-au-Prince.

IN an interview with AlterPresse, OPL had criticized the CARICOM emissaries for not providing a basic framework to follow up the discussions initiated in Kingston.

Me. Michel André, spokesperson for the Democratic and Popular Sector (SDP), claimed the inter-Haitian summit was a failure.

At the opening of the Kingston meeting, the representatives of the August 30, 2021 accord, better known as the Montana Accord, recommended that only a consensus between Haiti's social and economic forces would enable the nation to regain its sovereignty and break with Henry's reign.

Scheduled for Friday March 24, Saturday March 25 and Sunday March 26, 2023, a round table discussion bringing together all the main protagonists in the search for a possible way out of the crisis in Haiti was postponed.

The main objective of this round table was to deepen political discussions, with a view to reaching an acceptable consensus to resolve the problems facing Haiti.


Translated and edited for clarity by CHIP editors


Posted August 22, 2023