Haiti's PM resigns amid worsening political crisis
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Dec 14, CMC – Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has resigned less than a week after President Michel Martelly received a report from an 11-member presidential commission established to help deal with Haiti’s worsening political crisis.
The Commission had also recommended the resignation of the members of the Electoral Council.
Haiti has seen several violent street demonstrations led by opposition figures in recent weeks and in a nationwide radio and television broadcast on Saturday night, Lamothe said “I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment”.
The protestors have been calling for the resignation of both Martelly and Lamothe after the country failed to hold elections in October.
Late November, Martelly announced the establishment of the commission as opposition demonstrators planned to continue their streets protests to force him out of office.
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.
Lamothe should resign, along with the head of the Supreme Court and the country's election commission.
Martelly said earlier that he had accepted the commission's findings, and would meet government officials on Monday to discuss them.
In addition, the commission also wants several people detained arbitrarily to be released. In the report, the commission is also calling for a truce by the opposition, noting that the truce is necessary to achieve a political agreement for the country’s long-delayed local and legislative elections to occur.
“The deterioration of the political and social environment requires several calming measures and recovery before Christmas. It is therefore imperative to find a political compromise before January, 12,” the report stated, calling on the public and opposition parties to do their part, including ending calls for Martelly’s resignation.
“Respect the constitutional legitimacy of the President of the Republic,” it added.
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