Interim government to rule Haiti until new president installed in May

Martelly and Sanders after agreement on interim government

Haiti’s outgoing president Michel Martelly (left) with Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador and chair of the OAS Permanent Council, Sir Ronald Sanders, head of the OAS mission that helped broker the deal that will see an interim government in place until May. (Photo: OAS)

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Sunday February 7, 2016 – As President Michel Martelly ends his term in office today with no successor in place, a transitional government will be installed to rule the country for the next four months, until elections are held in April and a new president installed in May.

Haitian politicians reached that agreement yesterday, less than 24 hours before Martelly’s exit, averting a constitutional crisis.

A special mission from the Organization of American States (OAS), led by Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador, Sir Ronald Sanders, who is also Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council, helped broker the deal.

The January 24 second round of elections to choose Martelly’s successor was postponed amid violent protests by opposition parties who alleged fraud in the first round of elections and demanded an interim government be put in place to oversee a fresh vote.

Under the terms of the agreement reached over the weekend, Parliament will elect an interim president for a term of 120 days and confirm a consensus Prime Minister. Elections will take place on April 24 and power will be transferred to the new president on May 14.

A formal ceremony to seal the deal took place yesterday at the Presidential Palace.

“We wish the stakeholders every success as we encourage them to implement the formula for going forward,” said Sir Ronald who left with the OAS delegation yesterday.

The mission also congratulated Martelly for maintaining his position to demit office today, and for his willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with stakeholders, prior to his departure, to ensure that the State continues to function peacefully and in the social and economic interest of the country.

“The situation in Haiti is exceptional and it required exceptional solutions. We are pleased that the stakeholders have all committed themselves to democracy, peace and stability, amid a Constitutional vacuum created by the absence of an elected President to replace Mr Martelly”, Sir Ronald said.

“My delegation is satisfied that while we were in Haiti to garner an appreciation of the views of as many stakeholders as possible, our presence had a beneficial effect on the search for a consensus formula by the various groups. We were also able to address and clarify misconceptions and misleading information about the role that the OAS plays in Haiti”.

The OAS mission will report to the 34 member nations represented in the Permanent Council of the OAS on its return to Washington. The others in the delegation were: Gabriel Bidegain, Special Adviser to the OAS Secretary General; Sonia Johnny, former Ambassador of St Lucia to the OAS; Frederic Bolduc, Special Representative of the OAS in Haiti; Steven Griner, Acting Director, Department of Sustainable Democracy and Special Missions; and Paul Spencer, Special Adviser, Secretariat for Strengthening Democracy.

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