Open letter to the Prime Minister of the Republic.


Port-au-Prince, July 6, 2023


Mr. Ariel Henry

De facto Head of Government of the Republic

At the Haitian Prime Minister’s Office.


Dear Prime Minister,

The collective Defenseurs Plus greets you and wishes to express its deep concerns regarding the necessity of creating secure, social, economic, and political conditions conducive to the realization of general elections in our country. This comes after approximately three and a half years of institutional void, reinforced by the tragic assassination of the President of the Republic, Mr. Jovenel Moïse, on July 7, 2021. The collective Defenseurs Plus firmly believes that the establishment of such conditions is essential to preserve democracy. It is urgent to work towards political stability, the restoration of constitutional order, the promotion of socio-economic development in the country, and ensuring respect for fundamental rights in Haiti. The collective Defenseurs Plus presents you with legal and political arguments in favor of this pressing demand:

From a legal standpoint, the realization of general elections within a close timeframe is an imperative based on the democratic principles guaranteed by the Haitian constitution and international standards. Haiti is a signatory to various international instruments that ensure the right of citizens to participate in public affairs, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By organizing regular, transparent, and legitimate elections, the Haitian government would fulfill its international obligations and strengthen the trust of citizens in the democratic and republican institutions of the country.

From a political perspective, general elections (local, municipal, legislative, and presidential) are essential to ensure the stability and legitimacy of Haiti’s leaders. The post-assassination period of President Jovenel Moïse has been marked by political instability, a significant security crisis, and popular violence that greatly impacts the socio-economic conditions of the Haitian population. Figures from the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA) and the World Food Programme (WFP) indicate that over 4.9 million people in Haiti are experiencing food insecurity in 2023. Regarding the security situation, between July 2021 and June 2023, Defenseurs Plus has documented approximately 3,828 cases of assassinations and 2,064 cases of kidnappings. Additionally, the prompt holding of general elections in the country would allow for a peaceful transition of power and give the population the opportunity to choose their legitimate representatives. This would contribute to democratic consolidation, socio-economic development, and national reconciliation. Only legitimate and lawful leaders can address the major challenges that the country has faced for many years and defend the best interests of the Haitian nation at the regional and international levels.

Regarding security, it is imperative to create a safe and stable environment to ensure the smooth conduct of elections as soon as possible. Political violence, acts of vandalism, and civil unrest hinder the democratic process and undermine the trust of citizens in the current government. A transitional government must be able to take firm measures to ensure the security of candidates, voters, and observers by strengthening national security forces. This entire process should involve a viable political agreement with other actors in the political sphere and social organizations of the country.

Dear Prime Minister, as the de facto Head of Government, you must be aware that general elections can play a key role in promoting socio-economic development in Haiti. A stable and legitimate governance would enable the implementation of public policies and reforms that foster economic growth, poverty reduction, job creation, and the respect for human rights in the country. Conducting elections at all levels in the country also offers an opportunity to address social issues and adopt inclusive policies to tackle major challenges faced by our society. We particularly refer to access to quality and inclusive education, adequate healthcare, the creation of decent jobs, and environmental protection. These conditions are essential to curb the brain drain as many young professionals trained by the Haitian state leave the country in search of security and employment to meet their own needs and those of their families.

Lastly, Prime Minister, the collective Defenseurs Plus urges the government of the Republic to take all necessary measures to create the necessary security and political conditions for the realization of general elections in the country. This includes establishing a climate of security and political calm, ensuring an inclusive electoral process, respecting human rights, and achieving a political consensus among all actors in national life.

The collective Defenseurs Plus extends its sincere greetings to you, Prime Minister.

Antonal MORTIMÉ,
Law. Co-Director

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