How Does Haiti’s 1987 Constitution Fare Today As The Country’s Foundation For The Rule Of Law?

The Haitian Constitution of 1987 has outlasted all 22 previous constitutions and is credited with ushering in Democracy. Following a brief review of Haiti’s constitutional past, which was marked by instability and violence, this chapter examines the 1987 constitution of this past and the country’s foundation for the rule of law. 

It provides insight into the charter as a rejection of the Duvalier’s’ father and son’s authoritarianism and brutality. It describes the original text’s genuine intent to bring about Democracy, human rights, and political liberalism. It emphasizes parliamentary supremacy, drawing on political philosophy found throughout the francophone world during France’s third and fourth republics, and describes the regime as semi-presidential, similar to, but significantly different from, the Constitution that governs France Today. 

It delves into the fundamental distinction by emphasizing how, in contrast, Haiti’s 1987 Constitution expressly limits presidential power. It weighs this difference against the reality of presidential power being exercised by issuing decrees. 

It provides an in-depth examination of the revolutionary post-earthquake amendments of 2012, which impose gender equity in public life, repeal the former prohibition on dual nationality, attempt to address Haiti’s chronic electoral dysfunction and environmental degradation, reintroduce the military, and establish a Constitutional Council with broad judicial review power. 

The chapter also exposes constitutional Democracy’s shortcomings in addressing specific human rights violations and in clinging to an outdated insistence on parliamentary supremacy, which threatens constitutional sovereignty.

HAITIAN DEMOCRACY

Haitian politics take place within the framework of a unitary semi-presidential republic, with the President serving as the head of state and the prime minister serving as the head of government. Haiti’s politics have been historically unstable due to coups, regime changes, military juntas, and internal conflicts. Haitian politics became relatively stable after Jean-Bertrand Aristide was deposed. Haiti was classified as a “hybrid regime” by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2019.

Political corruption is a widespread issue in Haiti. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, a measure of perceived political corruption, the country has consistently ranked as one of the most corrupt nations. Out of the 163 countries surveyed for the index, Haiti was ranked as the most corrupt in 2006. Haiti was ranked 170th out of 180 countries in 2020. In a similar survey of corrupt governments, the International Red Cross ranked Haiti 155th out of 159. Haiti was ranked eighth in the Fragile States Index in 2013.

The President of Haiti is elected by popular vote for a five-year term under the Haitian Constitution. The President cannot serve two times in a row.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overwhelmingly elected President for the third time on November 26, 2000, in an election boycotted by most opposition political parties and sworn in on February 4, 2001. Aristide, a leftwing president, was deposed in a coup led by the Group of 184 on February 29, 2004, allegedly with the assistance of the French and US governments, because US and French soldiers had recently arrived in Haiti, ostensibly to protect the US embassy.

The first election after the February 2004 coup for a new president was held on February 8, 2006, with a runoff election on April 21, 2006. On May 14, 2006, René Préval was declared the winner. The 2011 election took place on November 28, 2010, with a runoff election on March 20, 2011. When Préval’s term expired on May 14, 2011, Michel Martelly became the first incumbent President in Haitian history to hand over power peacefully to an opposition member. Some regard Martelly’s presidency as free, while others consider it authoritarian.

The 2015 presidential election was held on October 25, 2015, but the Haitian public and media criticized it as “not free” and “controlled” before the runoff. According to an exit poll conducted by Haitian Sentinel, only 6% of voters voted for Jovenel Mose. [8] Jude Célestin, the other presidential runoff candidate, expressed his displeasure with the Conseil Electoral Provisoire’s lack of transparency (Provisional Electoral Council, CEP). Thirty other candidates said the 2015 election was rigged to undermine public trust. Martelly resigned as President on February 10, 2016, amid allegations that the 2015 election was rigged, leaving the country without a functioning government. The CEP declared the election results invalid.

On the 13th and 14th of February 2016, the Parliament elected Jocelerme Privert as provisional President for 120 days in place of the Council of Ministers. Prive rt’s presidential term expired on June 14, 2016, but he remained de facto President because the National Assembly refused to convene to appoint a successor. On February 7, 2017, Privert was succeeded by Mose, who had won the 2016 presidential election in November 2016, with a runoff election on January 29, 2017. With no functioning parliament since 2018, Mose has ruled Haiti by decree. Mose was assassinated on July 7, 2021, and Claude Joseph, the interim prime minister, took over as acting President. Joseph relinquished the presidency and prime ministership to prime minister-designate Ariel Henry on July 20, 2021.

According to the Haitian Constitution, the Prime Minister is appointed by the President of Haiti and must be confirmed by the National Assembly. Yvon Neptune was appointed Prime Minister on March 4, 2002, but was replaced by Gérard Latortue, who became interim Prime Minister following the February 2004 coup. 

In June 2004, Neptune was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy in an alleged massacre in Saint-Marc. Officials from the United Nations expressed skepticism about the evidence and demanded either due process or his release. 

Neptune was formally charged on September 20, 2005, but was never tried. On June 9, 2006, Jacques-Édouard Alexis was elected Prime Minister, and Neptune was released on July 28, 2006. 

Following widespread rioting over food prices in April 2008, Parliament voted to dismiss Alexis. His chosen replacement was rejected by Parliament, leaving the country without a government for an extended period. Michèle Pierre-Louis was confirmed as the next Prime Minister by both houses in July 2008. During his tenure, Mose appointed seven different prime ministers, the most recent of whom was Ariel Henry, who was established on July 5, 2021, but had not been sworn in by the time of Mose’s assassination on July 7. 

Claude Joseph was Haiti’s interim Prime Minister at the time of Mose’s assassination, and he assumed control of the presidency. On July 19, Joseph resigned as Prime Minister, and Henry was sworn in on July 20. Elections are scheduled for September.

Voter turnout has been a significant issue in Haitian elections, with only about 15% of eligible voters voting in a given election. CEP does not release election turnout data; however, unofficial population clocks, official census data, and electoral data show that only 15.94% of Haitians voted. The proper rejection of votes has recently been a problem, with CEP reporting that 7.71% of all franchises are rejected.

  • Politics and corruption in Creole

Since the colonial era, French has been the primary language in Haitian politics, with Haitian Creole held in low regard by the ruling class. Haitian Creole combines basic French structures, significant loanwords from African languages, and considerable grammar and spelling differences.

The original demotion of the Creole language created socioeconomic barriers for most of the country’s population, primarily speaking Haitian Creole. Haiti’s official languages are Creole and French, according to the 1987 Constitution. Nonetheless, French remains the primary language taught in schools and used in politics. 

Creole speakers are politically disenfranchised, with only 2-5% speaking the language of politics. Because Haitian Creole and French are mutually incomprehensible, most citizens cannot need help communicating with leaders in their preferred language.

The lack of a systematic educational system exacerbates this disenfranchisement. Literacy programs failed in the 1980s, and French is still the language of instruction. 

Yves Dejean, a Haitian linguist, recalls warnings posted in the principal’s office prohibiting the use of Creole. In the 1970s, only 1% of kindergarten students continued to earn a state certificate by the end of sixth grade. Even after the literacy programs of the 1980s, 90% of teachers still needed help to fully integrate the Creole language into the education system ten years after the decree. The language barrier makes education and political participation nearly impossible.

HAITI’S DECENTRALIZATION

In Haiti, decentralization refers to delegating political, financial, and administrative authority from the central government to regional and local governments. This improves service delivery, increases citizen participation in decision-making, and promotes regional development. Decentralization has been a critical component of Haiti’s recent political and administrative reforms. The decentralization process aims to improve local authorities’ responsiveness and accountability, as well as the delivery of essential services such as education, health, and water supply to the people. It also aims to promote local economic development and foster private-sector investment. Decentralization in Haiti is still in its early stages and faces numerous challenges. Weak local governments, a lack of resources and capacity, and limited citizen participation are significant challenges. Nonetheless, the decentralization process is gaining traction, and many Haitians hope it will lead to a more democratic and inclusive form of governance.

One of the primary goals of decentralization in Haiti is to improve local governance and accountability. Local governments are expected to be better equipped to respond to the needs and concerns of the communities they serve if power and resources are transferred from the central government to them. This, in turn, should increase public trust in government and citizens’ sense of political and social engagement.

Another significant advantage of decentralization in Haiti is the encouragement of regional development. It is hoped that by giving local governments more control over resource allocation and decision-making power, they will be able to better address the needs of their communities and stimulate economic growth. As a result, wealth and opportunities should be distributed more evenly across the country.

However, the decentralization process in Haiti needs to be improved. One of the significant challenges is the local government’s need for more capacity in terms of personnel and financial resources. Local governments frequently need more technical expertise and financial resources to effectively implement their plans and programs. As a result, the decentralization process may need to be improved, and service delivery to the people may suffer.

Another area for improvement is the need for citizen involvement in the decentralization process. Despite efforts to involve citizens in decision-making and governance, many Haitians are skeptical of the process and need more trust in local authorities. To address this issue, local governments must engage with the community, listen to their concerns, and consider their opinions when making decisions.

Finally, decentralization in Haiti has the potential to significantly improve the country’s governance and development. However, for the process to be effective, it must be well- planned and implemented and overcome it is numerous challenges overcome its multiple challenges. Nonetheless, with continued government, civil society, and private sector support and commitment, decentralization in Haiti has the potential to be a positive and transformative force for the country and its people.

The Impact Of Decentralization On Haitian Public Services And Governance

Decentralization can improve Haiti’s public services and management by devolving power and decision-making authority to local levels closer to serving citizens. This can lead to the more responsive, accountable, and efficient delivery of public services and greater citizen involvement in community governance.

In practice, however, decentralization in Haiti has encountered numerous challenges, including a need for more resources, capacity, and political will at the local level and ongoing national government centralization efforts. Furthermore, Haiti’s history of poor governance and political instability has posed significant challenges to successfully implementing decentralized governance structures.

While decentralization can improve public services and governance in Haiti, its success will be determined by several factors, including the availability of resources, the capacity of local actors, and the national government’s willingness to support and sustain the process.

Despite these obstacles, there have been some positive developments in Haitian decentralization in recent years. For example, establishing decentralized territorial collectivities (DTCs), local government entities that provide public services, has been a significant step forward in the decentralization process. These DTCs have increased local control over decision-making and public service delivery, resulting in a more participatory and democratic governance structure.

However, these DTCs face many of the same challenges as other Haitian local government entities, such as limited resources and capacity and a need for more political support from the national government. Furthermore, concerns have been raised about the need for more transparency and accountability in managing local government finances, hampered these entities’ ability to provide adequate public services.

To fully realize the potential benefits of decentralization in Haiti, these challenges must be addressed, as well as the capacity of local actors to manage public services and participate in governance. This will necessitate long-term political commitment and investment in local governance structures, as well as increased transparency and accountability at all levels of government.

To summarize, decentralization can potentially improve public services and governance in Haiti. Still, its success will be contingent on overcoming several challenges and building the capacity of local actors to manage public services effectively and participate in governance. Nonetheless, decentralization remains essential for advancing good governance and improving Haitians’ lives, and efforts to support and sustain the process are critical.

Despite these challenges, Haiti has had some positive developments in decentralization in recent years. For example, the creation of decentralized territorial collectivities (DTCs), which are local government entities responsible for delivering public services, has been seen as a step forward in the decentralization process. 

These DTCs have increased local control over decision-making and the delivery of public services and have created a more participatory and democratic governance structure.

However, these DTCs face many of the same challenges as other local government entities in Haiti, including limited resources and capacity and a need for more political support from the national government. In addition, there have been concerns about the need for more transparency and accountability in the management of local government finances, which has hindered the ability of these entities to deliver effective public services.

To fully realize the potential benefits of decentralization in Haiti, it will be necessary to address these challenges and build the capacity of local actors to effectively manage public services and participate in governance. This will require sustained political commitment, investment in local governance structures, and efforts to increase transparency and accountability at all levels of government. 

In conclusion, decentralization can improve public services and governance in Haiti. Still, its success will depend on overcoming a range of challenges and building the capacity of local actors to effectively manage shared services and participate in governance. Nevertheless, decentralization remains an essential avenue for advancing good governance and improving the lives of Haitians, and continued efforts to support and sustain the process are critical.

The Role Of Decentralization In Promoting Inclusive Growth

Decentralization can play a crucial role in promoting inclusive growth by transferring power and decision-making authority from the central government to local communities, resulting in the more efficient and effective use of resources, better alignment of policies with local needs, and increased accountability and transparency.

When economic development and resource allocation decisions are made locally, communities can prioritize their needs and tailor policies to suit their specific circumstances. This can lead to more effective use of resources, as local people better understand their needs and the resources available to meet them. A

dditionally, decentralization can increase accountability and transparency by bringing the government closer to the people. With local officials directly accountable to their communities, there is a greater chance that they will be held responsible for their actions and that corruption and mismanagement will be detected and addressed more quickly.

Furthermore, by giving communities more control over their resources and economies, decentralization can help to reduce poverty and inequality and promote more inclusive economic growth. For example, decentralization can help ensure that economic development benefits are shared more equitably. That marginalized groups such as women, ethnic minorities, and rural populations are not left behind.

In conclusion, decentralization can play a crucial role in promoting inclusive growth by enabling communities to take control of their economic development and resource

allocation, increasing accountability and transparency, and reducing poverty and inequality.

Countries must meet several critical institutional prerequisites for fiscal decentralization to be effective. Meeting these institutional requirements ensures that regional/state and local/municipal governments can implement effective decentralized expenditure allocation and revenue collection. Otherwise, fiscal decentralization may worsen public service delivery. Stable political environments are examples of such prerequisites:

  • Autonomous subnational governments that work.
  • Institutional capacity at the regional/state and local government levels.
  • Government transparency.
  • At all levels of government, there is an adequate democratic election infrastructure.
  • Capability to generate adequate revenue locally.

Notably, the potential for fiscal decentralization to benefit domestic resource mobilization stems from improvements in public service delivery, specifically allocative efficiency, preference matching, and increased government accountability.

Local governments have an information advantage because their proximity allows them better to understand their local constituents’ needs and preferences. This informational advantage enables local governments to allocate public resources and serve the needs of the people when compared to the central government.

The geographic proximity of local governments to their constituents—the direct recipients of public services also puts pressure on them to allocate fiscal resources efficiently. 

This productive efficiency of local public service delivery promotes government accountability through the local populace’s direct election of local officials, giving voters control over their public authorities and institutions. The subsequent performance of neighboring municipalities also provides a model for local voters to compare the competencies and effectiveness of their local politicians, as well as encourages competition among local governments to produce effective public services.

THE DIFFICULTIES THAT HAITI’S DECENTRALIZATION EFFORTS FACE

Haitian Development

Political insecurity, rising violence, and unprecedented levels continue to impede Haiti’s economic and social development, exacerbating fragility. Haiti remains the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and one of the poorest in the world. Haiti’s GDP per capita in 2021 was $1,420, the lowest in the LAC region, which averaged

$15,092. In 2020, Haiti ranked 163 out of 191 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index.

Amid a lingering political and institutional crisis, high vulnerability to natural disasters, and violent gangs vying for control of business districts, the economy contracted for three years in a row by 1.7% in 2019, 3.3% in 2020, and 1.8% in 2021.

Past gains in poverty reduction have been undone in such a context. While more recent data to measure poverty are unavailable, the lack of progress in critical dimensions required to reduce poverty has harmed household incomes across the country. For example, by December 2021, 65 percent of households’ incomes had declined compared to the years preceding the pandemic, indicating that an already high poverty rate had most likely increased. In line with these findings, estimates from the Bank’s team show that poverty will likely rise to 87.6 percent ($6.85/day), 58.7 percent ($3.65/day), and

30.32 percent ($2.15/day) in 2021. 

Haiti is also one of the unequal countries in the region. This is mainly because two-thirds of the poor live in rural areas and have poor agricultural production conditions, which creates a welfare gap between urban and rural areas.

Haiti remains one of the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters, particularly hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. These types of shocks affect more than 96 percent of the population. On August 14, 2021, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale struck Haiti’s southern region, which is home to approximately 1.6 million people.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located about 12 kilometers northeast of Saint-Louis-du- Sud, about 125 kilometers west of the capital Port-au-Prince.

In the three departments of the Southern Peninsula, the direct human toll of the earthquake was 2,246 deaths, 12,763 injuries, and 329 missing. Regarding infrastructure, 54,000 houses were destroyed, while 83,770 other buildings, including schools, health care facilities, and public buildings, were damaged. The World Bank collaborated with development partners to create a post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) at the government’s request to estimate the damage’s extent and chart a path to recovery. The evaluation of the effects of the August 14, 2021, earthquake indicates total damage and loss of more than US$1.6 billion or 11% of GDP. Hurricane Matthew hit the same region in 2016, which caused losses and damages estimated at 13% of the 2015 GDP, as well as the 2010 earthquake, which killed approximately 250,000 people and decimated 67 percent of the country’s GDP. Extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent and intense, and damage results from climate change. Haiti, while making progress, still needs adequate preparedness and resilience-building mechanisms. On the human development front, Haiti is experiencing a new cholera outbreak, with several confirmed cases in some populated capital cities, after three years with no laboratory-confirmed circumstances. Human capital development has thus stalled and, in some cases, deteriorated since. Infant and maternal mortality rates remain high, and coverage of preventive measures is stagnant or declining, particularly among the poorest households. According to the Human Capital Index, a child born in Haiti Today will be only 45 percent as productive as if they had full access to quality education and healthcare. Over one-fifth of children face cognitive and physical limitations, and only 78% of 15-year-olds will live to the age of 60.

DEVELOPMENT

Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, has twice altered our understanding of what we mean by development. Traditional welfare economics had focused on income as the primary measure of well-being until his seminal work in the 1980s demonstrated that poverty included a broader range of deprivations in health, education, and living standards that income alone did not capture. His ‘capabilities approach’ resulted in the creation of the United Nations Human Development Index and, later, the Multidimensional Poverty Index, both of which aim to measure development in a broader sense. Sen then shifted the goalposts in 1999, arguing that freedoms are not only the means but also the ends of evolution. Sen’s viewpoint is now widely accepted: development must be judged by its impact on people, not just on changes in their income, but also on their choices, capabilities, and freedoms, and we should be concerned with the distribution of these improvements, not just the simple average for a society.

However, defining development as an improvement in people’s well-being differs from what the term means to most of us. Development is also associated with long-term change. Providing a person with a bednet or a water pump can often be an excellent, cost- effective way to improve her well-being; however, if the improvement disappears when the bednet or pump is removed, we would not commonly refer to this as development. This implies that development entails more than simply improving citizens’ well-being, however broadly defined: it also conveys the capacity of economic, political, and social systems to provide the conditions for that well-being on a long-term basis.

Anyone working in development knows that the problems are complicated because making progress requires addressing various issues. However, referring to the economy as a complex adaptive system implies something specific about its dynamic properties. The term “complex adaptive system” is used here as a technical term to describe a type of non-linear system found in everything from waterfalls to ant colonies. The presentation begins with the endearing story of Thomas Thwaites, a British design student who attempted to build a toaster from scratch. This is extremely difficult to achieve: even building something as simple as a toaster requires a lot of other things to be in place in your economy and society. 

An economy comprises people, firms, products, and institutions that interact with one another while adapting to changing circumstances. In the presentation, I explain how this network of adaptive agents interacts with one another to form a complex adaptive system similar to those studied in biology and physics. Although the mainstream economics profession has slowly embraced these ideas, scientists have studied complex adaptive systems for at least thirty years. They have made significant progress in describing their properties. Despite their enormous diversity, these systems share some essential characteristics due to their underlying mathematics. There are good theoretical and empirical reasons to believe that economic and social systems share these characteristics, and real-world economic and social system trajectories fit the properties of complex adaptive systems better than the simple, linear models of mainstream economics.

One of the essential lessons from complexity theory is that complex adaptive systems can have system-wide properties that do not correspond to individual component properties. (This is only possible in non-linear systems because linear systems are always a weighted sum of their parts.) For example, we think of consciousness as a feature of the human brain, but it is impossible to say that a specific brain cell or synapse is conscious. A thunderstorm is a weather feature, but we cannot say whether or not a particular molecule in the air is stormy. These phenomena, known as ’emergent properties,’ are not the sum of the characteristics of individual parts of the system; instead, they result from how the different elements interact. In the talk, I argue that development is an emergent property of the economic and social system, similar to how consciousness emerges from the brain. This appears obvious, but it is a surprising departure from how most economists have traditionally described development as the sum of economic output from all firms in the economy or the sum of the human well-being of a nation’s citizens. Development is not the sum of people’s well-being in the economy, and we cannot achieve it simply by making enough people in the economy better off. Instead, development is a system-wide manifestation of how people, firms, technologies, and institutions interact within the economic, social, and political system. Development, in this context, refers to a system’s ability to provide self-organizing complexity. 

Self-organizing complexity in an adaptive system is never designed or purposefully created; it emerges due to adaptation and evolution. As a result, if we want to accelerate and shape development, we should concentrate on how to make the environment most conducive to the growth of self- organizing complexity.

This view of development as an emergent system property corresponds to the earlier described common-sense definition of development. Development encompasses more than just improvements in people’s well-being; it also refers to the system’s ability to provide the conditions for that well-being to continue. Development is a feature of the system; sustained improvements in individual well-being are a yardstick against which it is measured. This has significant implications for development policy for developing countries seeking to accelerate their economies and societies and for outsiders seeking to assist in that process. We are still in the early stages of investigating those implications. In my next blog post, I’ll discuss one specific significance of applying complexity theory to development: it has both positive and negative consequences for the UK Government’s emphasis on a “golden thread” of institutions that they claim runs through all successful economies.

The Current State Of Development In Haiti

Haiti has a free market economy with relatively low labor costs. It was a French colony before becoming a republic after an uprising by its enslaved people. Following its independence, it faced embargoes and isolation, political crises punctuated by foreign interventions, and devastating natural disasters. In 2018, the estimated population of Haiti was 11,439,646 people. “Long known as the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti has stumbled from one crisis to the next since the Duvalier (François Duvalier) years,” the Economist reported in 2010.

Haiti’s economy is based on agriculture. Haiti produces more than half of the world’s vetiver oil (an essential oil used in high-end perfumes). Export crops include bananas, cocoa, and mangoes. Haiti has also expanded into higher-end manufacturing, producing Android-based tablets and current sensors and transformers. 

Its primary trading partner is the United States (US), which grants the country preferential trade access to the US market through legislation such as the Haiti Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and the Haiti Economic Lift Program Encouragement Acts (HELP).

Haiti’s most serious disadvantages are natural disaster vulnerability, poverty, and limited access to education. Two-fifths of Haitians rely on agriculture, primarily small-scale subsistence farming, and are vulnerable to damage from natural disasters exacerbated by the country’s widespread deforestation. Haiti has a significant trade deficit, which it attempts to address by diversifying into higher-end manufacturing and more value-added agricultural products. Remittances are the most crucial source of foreign exchange, accounting for nearly 20% of GDP. [5] The 2010 Haiti earthquake, which occurred on January 12, 2010, had a significant impact on the Haitian economy.

Before the revolt of the people enslaved in Haiti to work its plantations against French colonization in 1804, Haiti was the world’s most prosperous and productive colony. Haiti suffered from international isolation in its early years of independence, as evidenced by the lack of diplomatic recognition by Europe and the United States (which did not recognize it until 1862); this harmed investment in Haiti. Another economic impediment to Haiti’s early independence was its payment of 150 million francs to France, which began in 1825 and did much to deplete the country’s capital stock. Haiti was forced to pay for its independence and freedom from colonization by France. According to a 2014 study, the Haitian economy is stagnant due to a combination of weak state power and hostile international relations.

It was difficult for the newborn ‘Negro republic’ to gain recognition as a sovereign nation- state, form strategic alliances, gain access to foreign loans, and protect trade interests. It was burdened with debt under the threat of external violence (the French indemnity). Self-chosen isolation, such as prohibiting foreign land ownership, further limited the options for successive Haitian administrations. The odds were stacked against Haiti when opportunities for export-led growth opened up in the late nineteenth century.

From 1915 To 1934, The United States Invaded And Occupied Haiti.

Following the restoration of constitutional governance in 1994, Haitian officials have demonstrated their commitment to economic reform by enacting legislation mandating the modernization of state-owned enterprises and implementing sound fiscal and monetary policies. A council to guide the modernization program (CMEP) was formed, and a timetable for modernizing nine key parastatals was developed. Although the state- owned flour mill and cement plants have been privatized, progress on the remaining seven parastatals has stalled. The modernization of Haiti’s state-owned enterprises is still a contentious political issue in Haiti.

The country’s economic agenda under President René Préval (1996-2001, 2006 – May 14, 2011) included trade and tariff liberalization, measures to control government expenditure and increase tax revenues, civil-service downsizing, financial-sector reform, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and the provision of private sector management contracts, or joint public-private investment. Structural adjustment agreements with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and other international financial institutions have only partially created the conditions for private sector growth.

Since the 1980s, comparative social and economic indicators show Haiti lagging behind other low-income developing countries (particularly in the Western hemisphere). Haiti’s economic stagnation is the result of earlier[when?] ineffective economic policies, political instability, a scarcity of good arable land, environmental deterioration, the continued use of traditional technologies, undercapitalization and a lack of public investment in human resources, migration of large segments of the skilled population, and a low national savings rate.

The consequences of the 1991 coup are still being felt in Haiti. Haiti’s de facto authorities’ irresponsible economic and financial policies hastened the country’s economic decline. Following the coup, the United States imposed mandatory sanctions, while the Organization of American States imposed voluntary sanctions to restore constitutional government. 

International sanctions culminated in a United Nations embargo on all goods entering Haiti except humanitarian supplies like food and medicine in May 1994. In the mid-1980s, the assembly sector employed nearly 80,000 people, owing to its reliance on US markets. During the embargo, employment fell from 33,000 in 1991 to 400 in October 1995. Private, domestic, and foreign investment in Haiti has been slow to return. Since the restoration of constitutional rule, employment in the assembly sector has gradually recovered, with over 20,000 people now employed. Still, investor concerns about safety and supply reliability have hampered further expansion. Foreign remittances have long been a significant source of financial support for many Haitian households. The Haitian Ministry of Economy and Finance devised the Haiti economic reforms of 1996 to rebuild the Haitian economy following significant downturns in previous years. The primary reforms were centered on the Emergency Economic Recovery Plan (EERP), followed by budget reforms.

After six years of growth, Haiti’s real GDP growth turned negative in FY 2001. Real GDP fell by 1.1% in the fiscal year 2001 and 0.9% in the fiscal year 2002. Political uncertainty, the collapse of informal banking cooperatives, high budget deficits, low investment, reduced international capital flows, and the suspension of IFI lending all harmed macroeconomic stability. Haiti owes the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank.

In 2003, Haiti’s economy stabilized. Although FY 2003 began with the gourde rapidly falling due to rumors that US dollar deposit accounts would be nationalized and the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, the government successfully stabilized the gourde by making the politically difficult decision to float fuel prices freely according to world market prices and raise interest rates. The government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a staff monitored program (SMP), followed by payment of $32 million in arrears to the IDB in July, paving the way for renewed IDB lending. In July, the IDB disbursed $35 million of a $50 million policy-based loan and $146 million in previously approved project loans. The IDB, IMF, and World Bank also met with the government to discuss new lending. Much of this would be contingent on the government’s compliance with fiscal and monetary targets and policy reforms initiated under the SMP and Haiti’s payment of World Bank arrears ($30 million as of 9/30/03). 

The IMF estimated that real GDP was flat in the fiscal year 2003 and projected 1% growth in the fiscal year 2004. GDP per capita, which was $425 in FY 2002, will continue to fall[Citation needed] as population growth is estimated to be 1.3% yearly. While the implementation of governance reforms and the peaceful resolution of the political stalemate is critical to long-term growth,[Citation needed] external assistance remains essential to avoiding economic collapse. The main component is foreign remittances, which totaled $931 million in 2002, primarily from the United States. Meanwhile, foreign assistance totaled $130 million in the fiscal year 2002. Since FY 1995, when an elected government was restored to power under a United Nations mandate, the international community has provided over $600 million in aid, and overall foreign assistance levels have decreased.

A legal minimum wage of 36 gourdes per day (approximately USD 1.80) was established in 1995, and it applies to most workers in the formal sector. Later, it was increased to 70 gourdes per day. [Citation required] This minimum is 200 gourdes per day (approximately USD 4.80). 39.175 gourds equal one US dollar.

Haiti’s economy was severely harmed in January when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the country’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding areas. Already the poorest country in the Americas, with 80% of the population living below the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty, the earthquake caused $7.8 billion in damage and a 5.4% drop in GDP. Following the earthquake, Haiti received $4.59 billion in international pledges for reconstruction, which has needed to be faster in progress.

The Challenges Facing Haiti’s Development Efforts According to the planning study, Haiti’s resilient urban expansion needs to be improved by vast gaps in essential services, increased vulnerability to natural catastrophes, and inadequate land-use planning. A crucial result for Port-au-Prince derived using both old and new data sources, was that an estimated 66 percent of land in the administrative area and 78 percent of built-up land is vulnerable to high seismic risk and that the city continues to expand rapidly in high-risk regions.

The connectivity evaluation provided data and analysis to support a discussion of the primary access problems restricting economic potential in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian. An accurate understanding of where jobs are about where people live is required to examine accessibility difficulties effectively. Because Haiti’s most recent census was in 2003 and there is no business registry, the team turned to cellphones, partnering with Digicel, Haiti’s largest cell phone provider, and Flow minder, a non-governmental organization with extensive experience in cell phone data analysis for development purposes that has the private sector’s trust in its handling of sensitive data. The use of mobile phones by individuals and machine learning techniques supplied the researchers with a vast data collection with essential information about where people live and work. The team then tracked people’s movements within the metropolitan network, including the most critical job hubs and typical routes individuals travel. Combining this with information on natural dangers, such as floods, aided in identifying the transportation linkages that, if disrupted, would have the most impact on people and the economy. 

The finance assessment investigated the effect of restricted municipal-level resources on local governments’ planning, services, and linkages. Municipal finances must be strengthened to close the urban infrastructure and services gap and accommodate Haiti’s rising urban population. 

To complete this gap, current frameworks must be consolidated, harmonized, and enforced; capacity and financial possibilities must be expanded; and the local tax base must be broadened and leveraged.

The report’s release in Port Au Prince (January 23, 2018) and Cap Hatian (January 25, 2018) ignited a lively debate in both cities. Substantial media coverage demonstrated how these concerns reverberate across all levels of government, the commercial sector, and Haitian residents. There is hope and urgency in producing inclusive and efficient urbanization in Haiti’s cities. 

The subject is still being covered in the media five months after the introduction. The World Bank team has produced follow-up pieces on urban resilience.

The study’s findings will inform Haiti’s growing urban portfolio, providing a unique opportunity to apply these diagnostic tools, particularly in the preparation of the US$37.5 million Municipal Development and Urban Resilience Project for the Cap-Hatien metropolitan area and discussions on the National Urban Policy. It is already influencing talks about urban transportation demands and corresponding policy reforms.

The Haiti Urbanization Review is accessible in French and English in the Bank’s Open Knowledge Repository and a Creole executive summary. The study’s findings and suggestions are projected to enhance resilient and sustainable Haitian cities, expanding opportunities for all. “The priority now is to focus on addressing the increased demand for services and job opportunities, as well as affordable transportation and housing in cities,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Director for Haiti.

Sameh Wahba, World Bank Director for Social, Urban, and Resilience Global Practice, explains: “Closing the infrastructural and service gaps, as well as improving land-use planning, will be critical to reducing Haitian’s risks urban people confront. The research intends to spark a discussion about Haitian cities’ future and identify priority areas for action that might result in better services and opportunities for Haitians.”

Thus far, the evidence suggests that the composition of budgeted and actual public spending is shifting towards poverty-reducing activities under PRGFsupported programs, as sought under the PRSP approach. Countries allocate more to education and health care as a percentage of GDP and a share of total government spending (Figures 1 and 2). These changes represent broad-brush shifts in expenditure composition towards poverty-reducing activities (although imperfectly, because not all public education and health spending is poverty-reducing). 

While not available for all countries, data on budget outturns suggest that such increases are being realized. Programs were initiated in 25 countries in the sample in 2000; for the 13 countries with available data for that year, spending on education and health care rose by an average of 0.4 and 0.2 percentage points of GDP, respectively. 

The emphasis on increasing these outlays in PRGF- supported programs is consistent with the concept that government has a crucial role in providing social services to assist economic growth and poverty reduction. Real public spending on education and health care (including spending on HIV/AIDS) is expected to rise sharply on a per capita basis. These spending increases build further on the gains realized during ESAF-supported programs, where real per capita public outlays on education and health care rose by an average of more than 3 percent per year between 1985 and 1999.

The transition economy included in the sample is Albania, for example, smaller-than- average increases are envisaged. This reflects the slightly higher initial spending levels and the substantial scope for further rationalizing education and healthcare systems inherited from the pre-transition era. This contrasts with nontransition PRGF-supported program countries, where the need for expanding public education and health – as well as improving the efficiency of such spending – is excellent. Higher spending increases are also envisaged in nontransition PRGF-supported program countries because of debt relief under the enhanced HIPC initiative.

Substantial increases in spending identified as poverty-reducing in PRSPs are also envisaged. PRSPs have defined a range of programs as poverty-reducing, including expenditures on primary education, primary or essential health, roads, rural development, agriculture, judicial systems, and anti-corruption. Over time, as PRSPs are updated and revised in light of the impact of policies on social outcomes, the definition of poverty-reducing activities is expected to be refined. Based on budgetary data in 19 countries that most closely approximate the PRSP definition of poverty-reducing spending, these outlays will rise, on average, by about 2 percent of GDP from the pre-PRGF year; for new PRGF-supported programs, the increase is slightly lower. The share of total government spending absorbed by these outlays will rise slightly more in new PRGF-supported programs than in the sample as a whole.

8 For most countries, existing budget classification systems do not allow precise matching of expenditure allocations and the programs identified as poverty-reducing in the PRSPs. Only 8 of the 19 countries (Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Tanzania, and Uganda) compile spending data on the specific poverty-reducing activities identified in PRSPs. 

There are also significant lags in disseminating data on poverty-reducing spending, including spending under the approximate definition described above; for 2000, figures are available for only five countries. The role of economics and agriculture in Haiti’s development of agriculture, forestry, and fishing are all critical industries. 

Agriculture is Haiti’s most significant industry, employing roughly two-thirds of the working force but accounting for around one-fourth of GDP (GDP). Haiti’s soils and fishing zones are under threat. Even though just one-fifth of the land is suitable for farming, more than two-fifths of the area is under cultivation. Significant difficulties include soil erosion (particularly on mountain slopes, rarely terraced), periodic drought, and a lack of irrigation.

Many farmers focus on subsistence crops such as cassava (manioc), plantains and bananas, maize (corn), yams and sweet potatoes, and rice. Some foods are available at rural markets and along highways. Haiti’s primary cash crop is mild arabica coffee. Haitian farmers sell it through a network of brokers, speculators, and merchant houses. Sugarcane is Haiti’s second most significant cash crop, although the country has been a net sugar importer since the late 1970s.

Deforestation is a severe problem in Haiti, which began with a high demand for sugarcane processing during the French colonial period and continues to the current day with an increased need for charcoal for fuel in Port-au-Prince and other metropolitan areas. Political instability and a lack of financing have hampered efforts to lessen reliance on trees for fuel. Several large-scale reforestation initiatives were planned, but they were pushed back due to social and political instability and the urgent need to fund other infrastructure projects. Only a tiny portion of Haiti’s territory is now wooded.

Goats and cattle are the most frequent livestock, with pigs and horses being less common. There is some poultry farming going on. Following Haiti’s significant outbreak of African swine flu in the late 1970s, the Creole pig population was eradicated by 1982. As a result, many peasants lost their only assets, and other pig breeds were eventually introduced as replacements.

Historically, Haitians have not used their fishing resources; because of the post- independence tradition of residing in the interior—away from the possibility of a French invasion Haitians have relied on agriculture for livelihood rather than fishing. However, there are minor fisheries in tiny ponds and canals across Haiti. Although most fishing boats are tiny and inadequately prepared, there is the potential for a commercial fishing industry: Massive migrations of deep-sea species such as bonitos, marlins, sardines, and tuna are carried by the north-flowing currents off the coasts of Haiti.

  1. Power and resources

Small quantities of gold and copper have been discovered in the country’s north. Despite bauxite (aluminum ore) reserves in the southern peninsula, large-scale mining halted in 1983. Haiti appears to need hydrocarbon resources on land or in the Gulf of Guinea, placing the country at a considerable disadvantage regarding energy imports (petroleum and petroleum products). Hydroelectricity generates over half of the country’s power, with the remaining provided by thermal (mostly coal-fired) facilities, particularly in Port- au-Prince. However, more than power is needed to meet present demands, and firewood and charcoal remain the primary sources of cooking energy.

  1. Manufacturing

Manufacturing expansion has been constrained by a small local market, a scarcity of natural resources, and internal strife. In the late twentieth century, some trade barriers were lifted, pushing local industries to compete directly with imports from the Dominican Republic and the United States. Processed foods, drinks, textiles, and footwear account for the majority of output. Chemical and rubber goods, tobacco, essential oils (particularly Amyris, neroli, and vetiver), and alcoholic drinks are also manufactured. Although Haiti produces Barbancourt rum, one of the world’s best, the bulk of the country’s sugarcane is processed in rural distilleries to manufacture clairin, a low-cost rum. Nontraditional exports such as decorative flowers and mange-tout are becoming increasingly popular (snow peas). The building sector has historically grown due to the high demand for houses (particularly in metropolitan areas) and natural catastrophe devastation.

  1. Finance

The financial position in Haiti is unstable. From 1919 to 1991, the national currency, After the gourde was tied to the US dollar (at five gourdes per dollar), the government allowed the exchange rate to float. The country’s currency is freely circulated in the United States. The Bank of the Republic of Haiti is the national bank. There are various commercial banks, notably the government-owned National Bank of Credit. Several private and foreign banks are also present. The government has substantial foreign debt, and its finances rely primarily on funding from international organizations and nations such as the United States, France, Canada, and Germany. There is no stock exchange in Haiti.

Trade Export agriculture has long been favored by farmers and governments alike since it generates revenue and serves as a source of foreign currencies. However, coffee exports declined precipitously in the late twentieth century. Clothing, handicrafts (wood carvings, paintings, and woven sisal items), electrical goods, and baseballs were among the assembled goods sent yearly, depending on the competition. 

Food, gasoline and its derivatives, machinery and automobiles, and textiles are the essential imports. The United States accounts for over two-thirds of foreign trade; other key commercial partners include the Dominican Republic and Canada. Haiti has a significant and ongoing yearly trade imbalance.

Tourism, once a significant source of foreign exchange, declined during the 1980s and 1990s due to political instability. Still, beginning in the late 1990s, the government prioritized restoring that sector. Visitors returned, drawn by the country’s cultural life, colonial architecture, pristine beaches, and gambling casinos. 

Prostitution, cultural imports (at the expense of native arts and customs), and the necessity to import expensive foods and luxury items have all been related to tourism in Haiti. Cap-Hatian and, before it was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake, Port-au-Prince were the typical tourist destinations. 

Cap-Hatian is the gateway to Haiti’s 19th-century Citadel, Ramiers defenses, and Sans Souci Palace, all named UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1982.

  1. Taxation and labor

The majority of the labor force is rural and employed on family farms. Men typically farm crops, while women handle household labor and agricultural output. Rural Haitians raise their food and hunt and sell food and other goods at markets. As a result, per capita income data reflect remunerated work and could be more beneficial to Haitians.

Because peasants have historically held the majority of agricultural land in Haiti, the urban elite’s primary sources of income have been government employment and a regressive tax structure that disproportionately affects the poorer classes. This contrasts with much of Latin America, where plantation ownership is a regular source of wealth for elites. The Haitian system has resulted in an exceptionally high level of semiofficial corruption. The elites, who possess both money and power, can use the government to their advantage and co-opt monies intended for the general public.

Taxation on rural markets accounts for the majority of peasant tax income. Customs duties on imports and exports are the other principal source of taxes. Personal income tax collection could be more effective, and tax evasion is widespread. Haiti’s inability to reform its tax legislation has been exacerbated by political insecurity and institutional weakness. The government established the Investment Facilitation Center in 2007 to encourage business and investment prospects in the private sector by advocating regulatory reforms and expediting licenses and other procedures required to start a firm.

  1. Transportation

Although the highways from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Hatian, Les Cayes, and Jacmel have been paved, they are not frequently maintained, and city streets are infamous for their many deep potholes. Most interior transit is impeded by rugged roads that can become inaccessible in bad weather. Trucks and buses provide infrequent and expensive transportation from Port-au-Prince to the provinces. There is no train service available. The rural populace travels primarily on foot, by bicycle, by public transport (known as a “tap-tap” in Haiti), or by donkey. The latter technique is also often employed for cargo transportation. 

The two main seaports are in Cap-Hatien and Port-au-Prince, with the latter harbor handling the majority of Haiti’s foreign commerce. Although there are a few tiny ports, passenger boat services are restricted. Haiti has two international airports, one in Port-au-Prince and one in Cap-Hatian. 

The 2019 Crises And Protests In Haiti

Ongoing protests against the current Haitian President have recently intensified across the country. According to local sources, 17 people have been killed and nearly 200 injured since violence escalated around four weeks ago. The protests have directly impacted local infrastructure, most notably the health sector. Hospitals have been strained to close due to access constraints and a lack of medical supplies and staff. Education has also been affected, where according to some sources, nearly 2 million children are unable to attend school due to closures as a result of the unrest. Many humanitarian organizations have had to suspend their operations, including WFP, due to security concerns and lack of fuel. Demonstrations calling for the resignation of the Haitian President, Jovenel Moise, have been recurring throughout the country for over a year; in June, protests resulted in 2 deaths and four injuries. 

However, the heightened level of violence in recent weeks reflects the deteriorating economic and political situation. Haiti is facing a sharp deterioration of the political and socio-economic situation. The political opposition organized a large demonstration on June 9, calling for the President’s resignation, which gathered several thousand Haitians in Port-au-Prince and other major cities. The demonstration turned violent, with roadblocks and looting reported. Three deaths have been linked to the demonstrations, cars were burned, and buildings were damaged. On June 10, commercial activities were limited, and schools remained closed. 

The unfolding situation has resulted in the cancellation of the mission of EU Member States’ humanitarian counselors to the UN this week. Haiti is facing a large-scale food emergency, with 37% of the rural population needing humanitarian food assistance.

Haiti’s humanitarian crisis is currently vastly underfunded (<10%) and is, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the most underfunded crisis in the world in 2019.

Overview Of The Political And Economic Crises In Haiti In 2019 Currently, Haiti is going through one of its worst crises ever. Practical international community involvement is urgently required. Since a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the nation on August 14, 2021, Haiti has been experiencing a severe food and security crisis. 

About 4.5 million people in the nation are severely food insecure. Haiti’s inflation rate has reached 26%, and the crisis between Russia and Ukraine is causing food prices to rise quickly. Along with these economic problems, the nation has seen violent battles between armed factions since June 2021, negatively influencing social and economic life in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital. The people of Haiti are rife with anxiety and worry.

When the Haitian government declared in 2018 that it would gradually end gasoline subsidies, there was a great deal of protest. Protests against Jean-Charles Mose’s administration and his proposed constitutional referendum grew in 2019 and then again in 2021. 

These protests were met by the police using disproportionate force. President Moise was killed, and his wife was injured when armed men broke into their Port-au- Prince home due to the political tension that had built up. Only five weeks later, the nation saw a devastating earthquake that destroyed entire neighborhoods and claimed more than 2,000 lives. Following this, gang violence and political unrest sharply intensified, throwing Haiti into a severe crisis. 

Street protests have been growing recently due to lousy leadership, insecurity, gasoline shortages, and price rises. According to an assessment by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), gangs are thought to control more than a third of the capital city. The assassination of the President sparked gang warfare, which later got out of hand and affected the country’s economy, food security, oil supply, and transportation system.

Due to its vulnerability to hazards, Haiti has seen back-to-back disasters, including a significant earthquake in 2010, a hurricane in 2016, and another earthquake in 2021. Additionally, the nation’s agricultural industry has been gradually declining, leaving it dependent on imports for more than half of its food needs. The country’s farmers went bankrupt when the rice tariff in Haiti was reduced from 30% to virtually nil in the 1980s. The nation has also experienced ongoing gang violence throughout its history. Haiti’s economic situation has worsened in the current global environment due to the war in Ukraine driving up petroleum costs. Fuel expenditures have become unaffordable nationwide due to growing prices and government fuel subsidies.

The difficulties facing Haiti may be categorized into three main categories. First off, with a non-functional parliament and only a few operating public institutions, the government is now governed in a very constitutional manner. Second, with half the nation under the hands of criminal gangs with significant political ties, citizen protection is practically nonexistent. Finally, the nation is experiencing severe economic hardships. In Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince, one in five children in Haiti under five are acutely malnourished. Any one of these difficulties would be extremely overwhelming for a nation to face on its own. Its descent into one of the biggest crises in its history was made worse because these all came undone simultaneously.

In a recent statement, the Organization of American States (OAS) said that the world community was to blame for the crisis currently engulfing Haiti. According to the report, “the international community’s presence in Haiti over the past 20 years has amounted to one of the greatest and most glaring failures implemented and carried out within the context of any international collaboration.” While the organization’s recognition of the role that foreign players played in the current situation that Haiti is experiencing was positive, the fact that it continued by asserting that only the international community could resolve this catastrophe is troubling. It declared that the “core group”—Haiti’s self- declared guardians consisting of ambassadors from nations such as the United States (US), France, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Canada, and the European Union, as well as officials from the United Nations and the OAS, must provide funds to pay the bill and aid Haiti in resolving its crisis. 

The core group has repeatedly turned to criminally motivated factions worldwide, many of whom are Haitians, expecting them to bring stability to such crisis-torn countries, so expecting them to rescue the country from the political and economic destruction it is currently experiencing is pretty ironic. The criminal groups in Haiti have merely retaliated against the leading group by intensifying corruption, instability, economic and social damage, and gangs with their kidnapping, rape, murder, and mayhem, further compounding the problems faced by the common Haitian. 

As if this were not enough, the nation now lacks a functioning legal system to handle prosecutions against these thugs. Moreover, Haiti’s jail system is already overloaded. Educated Haitians believe that leaving their nation is the only practical choice, and many apply for asylum in the US. The Biden administration has quickened the return of Haitians, nevertheless.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) Opposition leaders are calling for a nationwide push Monday to block streets and paralyze Haiti’s economy as they press President Jovenel Moïse to give up power. Tens of thousands of their young supporters were expected to heed the call. People stood in lines all day Sunday under a brutal sun to get water, gasoline, and other essential supplies before a round of protests that many worried would turn more violent than a demonstration Friday, during which several homes and businesses were burned as police fired tear gas at protesters. 

Several people have died in the past three weeks amid the political clashes. “I have a feeling that the country is going to change,” said Yves Bon Anée, a mason standing next to eight empty plastic jugs that he would fill with gasoline at $2 a gallon for friends, family, and himself. He planned to resell his portion to make money because he could not find work in weeks. He continued, “My kids are suffering,” referring to his three young boys.

According to opposition leaders and supporters, a lack of gasoline has forced many gas stations in the city to close because suppliers want the cash-strapped government to pay them more than $100 million that is owed to them. They also hold government corruption and rising prices responsible. Additionally, protesters call for a more thorough inquiry into claims that senior government figures misappropriated billions of dollars from a Venezuela-subsidized oil plan to finance critical social projects. 

Despite the upheaval, Moise, who took office in 2017, has stated he would not resign. Instead, during a speech broadcast on television at 2 a.m. on Wednesday, he asked for peace, harmony, and discussion. Since the beginning of the most recent protest wave around three weeks ago, the president has made few public appearances.

Professor Laurent Dubois, an authority on Haiti at Duke University, predicted that the nation will become increasingly impasse until the parties compromise. There is a lot of worry and dread that Haiti is headed in a path we have not seen in a while, he added. Haitian history is entering a new phase. Still, it will be impossible to foresee what it will bring. As required by law if a president steps down, opposition leaders calling for Mose’s resignation say they anticipate a transitional administration following the appointment of the top judge of Haiti’s Supreme Court.

The country’s middle class has declined, according to André Michel, an attorney, and professor of human rights, who claimed that Haiti’s existing political system had caused suffering, underdevelopment, and corruption that have led to poverty.

Michel urged the world community to support the overthrow of Moise. He stated that Haiti needed to construct a new society and state. The people’s will is evident, Michel declared. “He will plunge the nation into turmoil if he persists on staying in office.”

At a press conference on Sunday, opposition leaders asked the large crowd of supporters to begin blocking roadways and to assist them in finding Mose, whom they claim has fled. Opposition Sen. Youri Latortue, who has always refuted corruption claims leveled against him by American officials more than ten years ago and who once headed a party affiliated with Mose’s Tet Kale group, was one of those leading the campaign to identify Moise.

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