Fri | Aug 23, 2019

Parliament to debate motion to indict Haitian president for treason

Published:Thursday | August 1, 2019 | 12:20 AM
President Jovenel Moïse.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC):

The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Gary Bodeau, says a motion to indict President Jovenel Moïse for treason will be placed on the agenda ahead of the presentation of the general policy statement of the new prime minister, Fritz-William Michel.

Political observers in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country say they don’t expect the motion, which had been submitted by 21 legislators last month, to find support in the Lower House, given the majority position enjoyed by legislators linked to Moise’s party.

In a letter to Bodeau, the 21 deputies had accused Moïse of high treason, claiming that he had violated the Constitution and was leading the country to “the edge of the social explosion”.

They called for “a special sitting, from the opening of the next ordinary session, in order to fix the date of the session of indictment” of Moïse, saying also that they were prepared to “oppose the holding of any other session”.

According to the Haitian Constitution, “the Chamber of Deputies, by a two-thirds majority of its members pronounces the indictment …f or the crime of high treason or any other crime or offence committed in the exercise of his functions”.

Political observers say that the debate is aimed at prolonging the ratification of the new government, which would also delay the implementation of emergency measures to overcome the economic crisis that the country is facing.

Opposition legislators have been calling for the removal of Moïse in the wake of allegations of embezzlement related to the PetroCaribe oil initiative with Venezuela and call fresh elections.