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President Moise will not resign — spokesperson

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — President Jovenl Moise will not bow to demands of protesters and resign amid allegations of embezzlement of funds linked to the PetroCaribe oil initiative, according to a spokesman for the head of state.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets since Sunday demanding Moise's resignation but Charlot Jacquelin Junior, one of the President's spokespersons he will not resign.

The spokesman said that Moise had done everything to ensure the investigation into PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

Earlier this week, the state filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor's Office of Port-au-Prince against those persons implicated in the PetroCaribe scandal, based on the report of the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation (CSA/CA).

The Port-au-Prince Government Commissioner, Paul Eronce Villard, who received the complaint, said he would need to analyze the file in order to decide what to do next.

The CSC/CA audit found that significant shortcomings have been associated with the planning and implementation of development programmes and projects funded by the PetroCaribe Fund during the administration of former president Michel Martelly.

The court made it clear that, overall, relevant documents were missing in most of the projects and contracts reviewed and as a result it was impossible to conduct a comprehensive audit of several projects.

For example, the 610 page report found that in 2014, for the same project to rehabilitate the Borgne – Petit Bourg de Borgne road section, the State signed two identical contracts worth more than 39 million Gourdes (One Gourde=US$0.01 cents) with two separate companies.

Moise, before he came to power in 2017, headed a company which received more than 33 million Gourdes to do the road work, though the company in principle did nothing but grow bananas.

But, the company has reacted to the report pointing to errors and requested that the authorities “make the necessary corrections in order to dispel any doubts and misinterpretations that could harm the image of the company”.

The company, AGRITRANS SA, said that it also wanted to note “that the contract for this project, signed on October 15, 2014, was regularly obtained, seen and approved by the CSC/CA after submission of the technical file prepared by the Civil Engineering Unit of the company and all other related documents.

“It should also be pointed out that the payment of 15,071,315.14 Gourdes represents only 30 per cent of the total amount of the contract for which the corresponding work has already been executed at more than 80 per cent.

Meanwhile, the government has condemned the attack on the French embassy during the protest with Chancellor Bocchit Edmond saying that he held discussions with the French Ambassador “to express the regret of the Haitian government”.


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