PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Prime Minister Dr Ariel Henry is condemning persons whom he said want to acquire political power in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country without first seeking a mandate from the population.
In a nationwide radio and television broadcast on Sunday night, Henry, who has been acting as President since July last year, gave a commitment that the country would be in election mode before the end of 2022.
“The time is over when one can attack power and impose one’s will on the Haitian people by force. Those who are afraid of elections must know that they have no chance of achieving the leadership of our country,” Henry said.
Last Wednesday, thousands of people took to the streets in the capital and other major cities demanding safer streets, more affordable goods and Henry’s resignation.
“Ariel, you have to go! Go, Ariel! Go, Ariel!” they shouted.
Haiti’s general election, which had been scheduled for November 7 last year, had been postponed after Henry dismissed the council that organises elections.
Henry promised then to appoint a new electoral council that he said would be non-partisan and would set a new date for elections.
He said the process to replace the council had begun and elections would take place after a constitutional review in the “first months of the coming year.”
In his broadcast, Henry told the nation that in 1987, the Haitian people made the irreversible choice of democracy.
“It is incumbent on all those who want to play a political role to prepare to seek popular consecration at the ballot box,” he added.
Haitians have been demonstrating for months calling for adequate and cheaper fuel and petroleum products and Henry announced an adjustment of the prices of petroleum products at the pump, currently subsidised by the state to the tune of more than 50 billion gourdes.
Ariel also indicated that the government will spend an estimated three million gourdes as it launches a social appeasement programme.
He also told the nation that Haiti loses more than US$600 million annually in customs fees due to corruption and smuggling.