PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Monday December 29, 2014, CMC – President of the Senate, Dieuseul Simon Desras, says he does not intend to discuss with President Michel Martelly the choice of Evans Paul as the new prime minister to replace Laurent Lamothe who resigned earlier this month.
Desras said he was not prepared to meet with the executive to discuss the ne appointment as long as the question of the extension of the mandate for parliamentarians is not solved.
Paul is expected to take over from Florence Duperval Guillaume, the former Health Minister, who was appointed interim Prime Minister in the wake of Lamothe’s resignation.
Under Haiti’s constitution, Guillaume can hold the interim position for up to 30 days before a permanent choice is nominated for approval by parliament.
Paul, a former mayor of Port-au-Prince, was also an ally of the former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He was also a member of the Presidential Advisory Commission, which was appointed in November to address the political crisis facing Haiti. The Commission had recommended the removal of Lamothe from his post.
Last week the United Nations and its international partners stated they welcomed the appointment of an interim prime minister, and the Haitian government’s steps to adopting recommendations by the Commission.
Desras has given the assurance that the electoral law will be amended before January 12 if there is an agreement on the tenure of Parliament after this date.
Martelly has been holding talks with several social and political groups in a bid to pave the way for the holding of the long-delayed election to renew two thirds of the 30-member Senate, the entire Lower Chamber and hundreds of local government bodies.
Out of the 30 senate-members, only 20 remain in office, and amendments to an existing electoral law are required to facilitate the vote.
But six opposition legislators have consistently refused to attend the meetings of the Senate preventing the body from getting the required 16-member quorum needed to hold a session.
Political observers note that by January 12, next year, the Haitian parliament will become dysfunctional with only 10 senators left, while 16 is required to hold a session.
Meanwhile, the Patriotic Movement of Democratic Opposition, (MOPOD) says it will continue its street protests until the resignation of President Martelly.
It has also ruled out any possibility of dialogue with the interim Prime Minister with MOPOD coordinator, Turneb Delpe saying “it is inconsistent to discuss with Paul Evans, while MOPOD advocates the continuing protests to demand the resignation of President Michel Martelly”.
Opposition politicians have been organizing street demonstrations in a bid to force the resignation of Martelly.