US continues to back Haitian President MartellySaturday, January 17, 2015
WASHINGTON (CMC) – The United States has expressed its backing for President Michel Martelly after the Haitian Legislature failed to authorise an electoral law that would have ended the ongoing political stalemate in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country.
US Vice-President Joseph Biden in a telephone call to Martelly on Friday reiterated Washington’s "long-term support for Haiti’s reconstruction, development and democratic progress".
A statement issued by the White House said Biden "commended President Martelly for his efforts to reach a negotiated agreement with the Haitian Parliament and political parties to allow Haiti to hold elections.
"The vice-president recognised that President Martelly made several important concessions in order to reach consensus, and expressed disappointment that Haiti’ Parliament did not pass an electoral law before lapsing on January 12," the statement said.
It said Biden "reiterated the support of the United States and the international community as President Martelly works to organise timely elections this year to permit Haitians to exercise their democratic right to choose their representatives".
Biden reaffirmed that the United States "remains Haiti’s committed friend and partner and looks forward to deepening bilateral cooperation as President Martelly’s administration works to build a more prosperous and secure future for the Haitian people".
On Wednesday, the Washington-based Organisation of American States (OAS) said its Permanent Council approved a "Declaration of Support" for the timely holding of elections and the renewal of its democratic institutions in Haiti.
During a special meeting, attended by Haiti’s Foreign Minister Duly Brutus the OAS said the Council approved the declaration "for the constitutional Haitian authorities and all stakeholders in their commitment to hold free, fair and inclusive elections as soon as possible in accordance with the constitutional provisions for the renewal of the democratic institutions".
Earlier this week, law makers failed to pass new legislation that would have resulted in long-delayed elections in Haiti leading to the legislature being dissolved.
The legislators had been expected to vote on an electoral law aimed at ending the political stand-off between President Michel Martelly and the opposition, but their failure to vote on the measure meant that Martelly now effectively rules the country by decree.
Martelly had been trying to secure backing for a US-sanctioned plan to postpone elections but Fanmi Lavalas, the party that was once led by former president Jean Bertrand Aristide and which has been at the forefront of anti-government protests, said it was not part of the agreement.
The opposition parties have since announced plans for more street demonstrations to force Martelly out of office.
The opposition members have accused President Martelly of corruption and abuse of power and say he wanted to derail the election deal to rule by decree.
Mid-term Senate elections had been originally due in May 2012, while local polls are three years behind schedule.
The accord was expected to have resulted in the approval of a "consensus" government that could include Evans Paul, the president's new choice for prime minister to replace Laurent Lamothe, who resigned in December.
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