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Haiti: Opposition parties dismiss new initiatives by Prime Minister Céant

By CMC

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Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 20, CMC – Opposition political parties have described as “small, superficial measures,” the new initiatives outlined by Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant last weekend to end the political violence in the country aimed at removing President Jovenel Moise from office.

The Democratic and Popular Sector, which groups many of the opposition parties here, said it had taken note of the address to the nation by Céant who “ignored the main demands of the Haitian people (being) …the departure of President Jovenel Moses from power”.

In a 20-minute television broadcast on Saturday night, Céant said there would be a 30 per cent cut in the national budget allocation to the office of the Prime Minister and that he is also suggesting that the Presidency and the Parliament do the same.

In addition, Prime Minister Céant, said there would be the abolition of all the “unnecessary privileges of senior state officials’ such as fuel costs, phone cards, travel abroad, amount of consultants on files and reconsideration of providing them with a second residence.

He said that these savings will, for example, strengthen the judiciary by giving it additional resources to facilitate the completion of the Petrocaribe trial.

Opposition political parties have been staging street demonstrations in support of their calls for President Moise to step down, after accusing him of not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government over PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Nadège Sénatus, who was one of four people seriously wounded during the violence on February 13, has died of her wounds. Nadège was injured when demonstrators clashed with members of the Departmental Maintenance Unit (UDMO).

A relative calm seemed to have returned in Haiti, after 10 days of anti-government demonstrations

Earlier this month, the President of the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Disputes (CSC/CA), Pierre Volmar Demesyeux, presented a copy of the report on the management of projects financed by the PetroCaribe funds to the Speaker of the Senate Carl Murat Cantave.

Cantave has since presented the report to Senator Youri Latortue, the President of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

In its statement, the Democratic and Popular Sector said “at this crucial moment in national life, the great ills of which the Republic suffers cannot be overcome by small, superficial measures to sprinkle the depths of the misery of the Haitian people, which unequivocally rejects a system of inhuman and destructive public governance of which Jovenel Moïse is the executing arm.”

It said that the statements of Prime Minister Céant “constitute a denial of recognition of the dimension of the current crisis” and the refusal of Moise to step down.

“The Haitian people expected the Prime Minister to suggest that President Moïse listen to his voice (and that) “the Prime Minister would have taken this opportunity to tell President Jovenel that he has no legitimacy. That he is not credible by in front of the Haitian population.”

The group said that it is unbelievable that Prime Minister Céant would call for a dialogue to discuss the ongoing situation noting that even President Moïse does not believe in the process of dialogue.

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