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  HOME | Caribbean

OAS Mission Shows Optimism after Meeting with Martelly

PORT AU PRINCIE - The Special Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) which traveled to Haiti to mediate the internal political crisis, met the Haitian president Michel Martelly and said in a release that the conversations "have been very constructive."

OAS President Ronald Sanders said in a brief statement that the talks are moving "towards a solution to the present difficulty being reached by national stakeholders".

Sanders, who is Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, said yesterday that he also met the Haitian Senate President Jocelerme Privert and Lower Chamber President Cholzer Chancy.

The diplomat stressed that the mission of the regional organization is in Haiti to assess the situation with as many groups as possible.

Nevertheless, he warned that "this fact-finding mission is not in Haiti to interfere, meddle or mediate in Haitian affairs."

The delegation, including Senior Advisor at OAS Gabriel Bidegain, and former ambassador of Saint Lucia to the OAS Sonia Johnny, will present the report to the Permanent Council of the organization upon their return to Washington.

Meanwhile, the Haitian opposition reiterated yesterday that they will not meet with the OAS mission, as they regard the organization as leaning towards the stances of Martelly and government-backed presidential candidate Jovenel Moise.

The opposition, which has formed a bloc called the "Group of Eight" (G8), says that the OAS is part of the present problem, as the organization validated the results of the first round of elections, held on Oct. 25, 2015, the results of which they labeled as fraudulent.

In these elections, Moise received the most votes, followed by the opposition candidate Jude Celestin.

Both candidates were expected to face each other in the second round of elections on Jan. 24. However, it was postponed indefinitely by the Provisional Electoral Council, citing security reasons.

Celestin, who decided not to participate in these elections before the postponement, is part of the G8 group. The Haitian president is supposed to leave office on Feb. 7, under constitutional rules.

Martelly, however, has reiterated that he will not resign the position for "those who do not want to attend elections" while the opposition holds mass marches almost daily in Port au Prince and other cities in the country, demanding his "immediate resignation."

Moise also has received backing from his supporters, who have taken to the streets demanding elections be held. The postponed elections have put the fragile political system of the poorest country in the Americas again in jeopardy.

 

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