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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Robert Manuel’s rejection: A second blow to René Préval

CSMS Magazine Staff WritersPort-au-Prince—Just when one thought that Haiti’s PM nominee was going to have an easy ride toward ratification, the Haitian parliament dealt an other blow to the Haitian president who appeared almost confident of victory in his second move to install a prime minister just few hours before deliberation began in the Chamber of deputies, the lower house of parliament. The news of Bob Manuel (left in the picture) sent shockwaves to the world; and within the president’s inner circle, it was consternation.                “However embarrassing it may seem, Préval does not appear to be too concerned about these rejections, “affirmed former senator from the northern department of Cap Haitien. This may be true in part because Préval never really had an organized political party going in to the last presidential elections. Like his predecessor, Jean Bertrand Aristide, Preval believes in a one-man-show, where he and only he would loom surrounded by a bunch of subjects.                His so-called Lespwa political movement created as an electoral tool never really took roots, according to many observers. It blew into thin air as soon as it became clear that the winner was René Préval, and those who then jumped on his bandwagon as party representatives now look as blatant opportunists bent on pursuing their own selfish agenda and shamelessly turned their back on the president, even as the whole world is debating on how to deal with the country’s latest food crisis, strong resurgence of the feared kidnapping movement and an open-ended UN occupation of the country. One wonders when will the masses of Haiti rise up again to wipe out all the Haitian Conzés (the traitors)?                        Bob Manuel’s rejection—the second in one month—came amid rumors of renewed massive demonstrations to force the government to cave in to the people demand of lowering food prices and other commodities. Just this morning in the second city of Cap Haitien, thousands descended in the streets to demand an immediate stop of the kidnapping and the high cost of living. According to our Haiti correspondent, Nerline Mondestin, the people of Cap haitien sent a blunt message to Préval: Fix the problem or step aside.  The candidacy of Robert Manuel, a former security chief and long-time friend and adviser to Préval, was rejected in a 57-22 vote in the Chamber of Deputies, citing residency requirements—an other dilatory ploy to spurn Manuel nominated by Preval on May 26. They hid behind the Haitian Constitution, which states that a candidate for prime minister has to have lived in the country for five consecutive years prior to taking office. Manuel, who was forced to abandon his homeland for political reasons in 1999, only returned near the end of 2005.If the desire to uphold the constitution was that important, why did they block PM nominee, Gerard Latortue parachuted by Washington soon after Aristide was bundled out of the country in February of 2005. Latortue lived many years outside of the country. He returned only to claim his post as prime minister under the shameful gaze of many in the parliament who now claim to be the perfect constitutionalists that Haiti has ever produced.     Manuel, who until recently lived in Guatemala, was Préval campaign manager during the last presidential elections. In 1999, Manuel fled into political exile after he resigned his post as Haiti’s undersecretary of state for public security during Préval’s first presidential term, 1996-2001.Also see: Rene Prevsl takes office  Haiti: the lies will never endWill Haiti Ever Regain Its Sanity?Will Haiti ever achieve responsible governance?

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