The top US diplomat has urged Haiti’s political leaders to work towards holding elections later this year, a demand that top Haitian civil society activists and other experts dismissed as a “mistake” amid deep political instability.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on Haiti’s leaders “to unite the country around a more inclusive, peaceful and secure vision and pave the way toward free and fair elections this year.”
United States and United nations He said legislative and presidential elections scheduled for September in the Caribbean nation should go ahead despite last week’s assassination. President Jovenel Moise.
But the killing has thrown the country, which has already faced widespread political instability and escalating gang violence, into further chaos – and leading civil society groups as well as rights activists say Voting may not be the best way out from the crisis.
Haitian authorities have charged 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans with being part of the crew of mercenaries who opened fire on Moyes and his wife Martin Moyes at their home in Port-au-Prince in the early hours of July 7.
Colombian authorities announced the arrest of 17 suspects and the killing of three, after interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph ordered a 15-day “state of siege” across the country.
Haiti said on Sunday it had done so Arrest of the alleged mastermind Behind Moyes’ assassination, Christian Emmanuel Sanon is a Haitian man who lives in the US state of Florida.
But the motive remains unclear, and questions persist about who was involved in the killing, as well as what came next in Haitian’s fractured and largely invalidated political system.
Moyes had been ruling by decree since last year, while opposition groups, civil society organizations and senior jurists said his term expired in February, prompting mass protests Urging him to step down.
Many state institutions are not working, while the country’s constitution is unclear on who should lead the government. Joseph claimed power but this was challenged by two other senior politicians, Prime Minister-designate Ariel Henry and Senate President Joseph Lambert.
After the murder of Moise Youssef He called on the United States and the United Nations to send troops to Haiti to secure key infrastructure last week. The administration of US President Joe Biden has so far said it has no plans to do so, but has not ruled it out entirely.
Haitian journalist and activist Monique Clesca has rejected the idea of sending US troops, telling Al Jazeera in an interview on Sunday that the history of such forces in Haiti is “bad.”
“Any help we can get regarding the investigation team is excellent,” she said, referring to the ongoing situation Investigation in Moyes’ murder. “But we certainly don’t need a team of American soldiers on the ground and I’m so glad they said no, and I hope they continue to refuse.”
US government officials traveled to Haiti on Sunday, and later met with Haiti’s three biggest political leaders – Joseph, Henry, and Lambert. Emily Horn, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, said the US delegation encouraged open and constructive dialogue to reach an agreement to enable Haiti to hold free and fair elections.
The United States occupied Haiti from 1915, after the assassination of Haitian President Jean Felbrunn Guillaume-Sam, until 1934. “The occupation has left Haiti worse than it was before,” Kliska said, adding that historically UN missions to Haiti have also had it. negative effect.
“We don’t want that,” she said. “We must be clear about the way forward, the way forward Haitians, civil society and politicians must unite.”
Meanwhile, prominent Haitian human rights defender Pierre Esperance on July 9 urge Biden takes a different approach from his predecessors in dealing with the country.
In the current insecurity in Haiti, the Biden administration must create the conditions in which we, the Haitian people — not the United States and the international community — can determine the future of our country, strengthen our democracy, and ensure our human rights. the basic”.
Esperance pointed out Gang violence on the rise Under Moyes’ presidency – and led to hundreds of killings, kidnappings and mass displacement – and described as “shameful” to continue pressure from Washington to hold elections in September against this background.
This is “a path that is certain to lead to false results and untold deaths of Haitians,” he said.
In such a violent and lawless environment where credible government institutions do not operate—a situation that Moyes cultivated and that ultimately cost him his life—how can opposition candidates safely campaign? How can people come to vote and know that they will come home alive? How can people trust the results? “
Andre Michel, Haitian lawyer and leader of the political opposition, also said Friday evening that “the solution to the political crisis must be Haitian and largely coordinated between the political class, civil society, the diaspora and popular groups.”
“Any other operation is unhealthy and will be dead on arrival,” he said chirp.
The Biden administration’s pressure to hold elections has also raised questions in the United States.
“US policy toward Haiti is at a crossroads,” said Democratic Congressman Andy Levine chirp on Monday. Would we support an empty form of democracy, demanding elections as quickly as possible even if not free/fair to focus on choosing between illegal protesters to take power? Or will we support Haitian civil society as it works to restore true democracy? “
Peter Mulrean, who served as the US ambassador to Haiti from 2015 to 2017, also wrote in another Just Security vertical Forcing Haiti to hold elections this year “would be a mistake.”
The decline of democracy in Haiti has now reached a critical point, and perhaps a point of no return. It is tempting to think that new elections will clarify the situation and restore stability, but experience teaches us exactly the opposite. What Haiti needs is to assess and repair what has broken. This is what a broad coalition of opposition parties and civil society calls for.