Haiti’s Supreme Court Judges Refuse To Stay Fired

Hardbeatnews, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Thurs. Dec. 15, 2005: Four of the five Supreme Court judges fired by Haiti’s interim government last week, yesterday showed up to protest the move and prevent the new nominees from being sworn in to replace them.

Haiti radio reports indicate that the fired judges, along with several court clerks and law students, showed up at the rushed swearing in ceremony and formed a human chain to prevent the interim government’s appointees from coming in to the chambers.

A scuffle then reportedly broke out and police were forced to separate those set to be sworn in from the protestors. The controversial decision was made late last week by Gerard Latortue and Boniface Alexandre, the country’s installed interim-leadership, a day after the justices ruled for a second time that Haitian-American businessman, Dumas Simeus, should be allowed to run for president.

Latortue has argued that Simeus is a U.S. citizen and cannot constitutionally run for president. He also set up a nationality committee to prove that, a move that cost Simeus a place on the ballot.

Siméus has called the firings “appalling, anti-constitutional and illegal,” adding in a statement, that it’s “…a sad and scary day for Haiti, for the rights of our 9 million citizens and for the future of freedom, democracy and separation of powers in Haiti.”

Haitian Americans interviewed by HBN have also expressed shock and outrage over the move as the country prepares to replace Jean Bertrand Aristide on Jan. 8. – Hardbeatnews.com