Canadian Ambassador to Haiti Calls for “Inclusive” Agreement

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Ahead of an international conference on Haiti led by his country, Canada’s ambassador to the Caribbean nation called for a politically “inclusive” deal to resolve the deep constitutional crisis after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on July 7.

In an interview in Port-au-Prince, diplomat Sébastien Carrière expressed concern about deteriorating security in Haiti, which will be a central theme of Friday’s virtual meeting. Ministers from Canada, the United States and France, among other nations, will attend the meeting, and it will be led by Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.

“Canada is extremely concerned about the security situation” in Haiti, Carrière told The Associated Press.

The diplomat added that the crisis is complex and multidimensional, with economic, humanitarian and security aspects, as well as an imminent deadline to establish a permanent president. Quoting figures from the United Nations, he pointed out that “4.6 million Haitians live in conditions of humanitarian emergency”.

The Canadian government believes that elections in Haiti are inevitable, given the institutional collapse the country is experiencing, but, like many, does not know when they will take place.

“Canada believes that security must be restored before elections are held… In the current context, it would be very difficult to hold elections, especially with contradictory political agreements,” he said.

The assassination of Moïse complicated what was already a fragile political situation in Haiti. He had raised controversy by assuring that his term would end on February 7, 2022. Shortly before his death, the president appointed current Prime Minister Ariel Henry to the post, and many experts believe that Henry’s term should also end. end February 7.

To make matters worse, Haiti’s legislative and judicial branches, as well as the executive, are also facing crises of legitimacy.

Various sectors of Haitian society are calling for “agreements” that would allow for a consensual mandate for the country while waiting to renew its institutions in an electoral process.

Henry himself claims to be at the head of such an agreement, called the “9/11 agreement”. Contrasting proposals have also been drawn up in recent months. The main rival to the Henry Accord is known as the “Montana Accord”.

Canada will not side with either side in the showdown that appears to be brewing between the Henry government and sectors of civil society, Carrière said.

“If we have a preference, it’s for everyone to be under one agreement,” he said, and asked for there to be one that was inclusive.

The Canadian government wants this pact to be finalized preferably before February 7. Henry’s fragile legitimacy risks being further questioned after this date.

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