FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC HAITI IN WASHINGTON, D.C., REGRETS UNDEMOCRACTIC POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CHAIRMAN GREGORY MEEKS (NY-5) TO SECRETARY OF STATE, ANTONY BLINKEN
Washington, D.C. (April 27, 2021) – On behalf of the Moise administration, the Embassy of the Republic of Haiti is gravely concerned that some U.S. Members of Congress are calling for regime change to replace the Republic of Haiti’s democratically elected President, contrary to the Inter-American Democratic Charter. President Jovenel Moise is committed to elections and a democratic transition of power in February 2022.
The letter dated April 26, 2021, to Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, led by Chairman Gregory Meeks (NY-5) and Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) undermines the country’s democratic processes and contradicts the United Nations’ and the Organization of American States (OAS), and other international partners position on the upcoming elections. In coordination with international institutions, the Government of Haiti has announced the dates for the constitutional referendum, parliamentary and presidential elections.
Below is the published electoral calendar:
- June 27, 2021: Referendum on the new Constitution
- September 19, 2021: First round of presidential and parliamentary elections
- November 21, 2021: Second round of presidential, parliamentary, and local elections
- January 22, 2022: Final election results
The Haitian Government has been working with the country’s friends and allies, including the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations, to ensure free, fair, transparent, and inclusive elections. An example of this is the determination and ongoing process to issue voter identification registration cards for the first time to all eligible Haitian voters in Haiti and abroad. As of March 28, 2021, roughly 4.5 million Haitian citizens have been registered. Another illustration is President Moise’s continuous commitment to reach consensus for a national unity Government. Lastly, to ensure the success of upcoming elections, the Government has established a Basket Fund with an initial 20-million-dollars for financing and jointly managed by the United Nations. The Government of Haiti intends to contribute more funding in the incoming weeks.
Furthermore, the official position of many foreign governments and the international organizations is clear and supportive of the upcoming elections. Contradictory and disruptive comments only serve to endanger the ongoing democratic processes in lieu of strengthening our institutions.
The Government of Haiti is further profoundly concerned by the potential implication of the foreign policy recommendations highlighted in the letter, which could create greater instability and disrupt the electoral process in the country. We must caution that if implemented, whether in part or in whole, these recommendations would directly result in the installment of a transitional Government and would delay elections in the country.
A transitional government would, by definition, abolish the democratically elected Government and considered illegal under the Haitian Constitution. There is no legal basis for those undemocratic recommendations. Thus, the installation of a transitional government would result in the ruling by decree with no parliamentary oversight and the postponement of presidential and parliamentary elections for many more years.
The Embassy of the Republic of Haiti also rejects the baseless claim that the Moise administration lacks credibility and transparency to organize elections. Consistently, President Moïse and his administration have encouraged and included members of Haitian civil society, wide-ranging political representatives, and the Haitian Diaspora to participate in drafting the Constitution and planning of the elections. Eminent Haitian civil societies, political leaders, and 87% of the population, in a recent national poll, have expressed support for a new constitution
The Government of Haiti is committed to engaging its international partners, but this dialogue must be based on mutual respect for the state’s sovereignty and the rule of law. We welcome foreign assistance with our electoral process in funding for elections, international observers, or other means. We are committed to holding credible and legitimate elections that will stand up to international scrutiny. We know what is at stake. Without 2021 elections and a peaceful transition from President Moise to his successor in February 2022, the alternative is dangerous to Haiti’s democracy.
As the world’s first Black Republic, Haiti has a vital role on the world stage and a precedent to set for other nations. We are on the cusp of a historical accomplishment – putting Haiti on a path towards political and economic stability through the electoral process – and must see it through. This positive change must come through Haitians at the ballot box as practiced in all democratic societies.
As the U.S. President Joe Biden recently stated in his remarks at the Munich Security Conference: “Democracy does not happen by accident. We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, and renew it.”