We, the undersigned, political parties, civil society organizations, and churches, reaffirm our deep belief that it is necessary to solve the political crisis and reinforce the democratic institutions. We solemnly declare our commitment to pursue those goals and we pledge to help as much as we can in reaching them in good faith, in a synergistic effort with the hemispheric partners working to promote and strengthen democracy. Therefore, we joined the Government in its guarantee about the following points:
– Covergence Démocratique (Democratic Convergence) acknowledges and accepts the results of the November 26, 2000 elections (presidential and one third of the Senate)
– Fanmi Lavalas (Lavalas Family) agrees to organize new elections, at a date to be determined by the CEP in xxx 2003, for Parliament and the Territorial Communities.
A presidential decree or a decision from the next parliament (with both parties participating) will ratify and legitimize all appropriate acts, works, and tasks accomplished by the officials elected on May 21, 2000 (during their period in office.)
I. Forming a new credible, independent, and neutral Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)
We agree to participate in the appointment of nine CEP members, according to the following formula that was chosen by consensus. Each member must deserve the respect and trust of all the citizens. Before their appointment, the names of the nominees must be submitted to an assessment by the undersigned parties to evaluate their qualifications.
The CEP will have the following mandates, responsibilities, rights, and guarantees:
a. Organize elections in 2003 for Parliament officials from the May 21, 2000 elections.
b. Organize elections for the Territorial Communities. The indirect elections will take place after the Territorial Communities elections.
c. Appoint CEP executive officers responsible for implementing the CEP decisions.
d. Review the qualifications of CEP officials to make sure that they meet the requirements of professionalism, expertise, impartiality, and equity expected from them. As needed, the CEP will have the authority to appoint new officials having those qualifications.
e. The CEP shall receive all financial and technical support needed from the Haitian Government to ensure its autonomy and ability to fulfill its duties without interference. In addition, the Government shall make all necessary decisions and take any necessary measures to guarantee the safety and protect the autonomy of CEP members, officials, and advisors, as well as the safety and autonomy of candidates, political activists, and citizens to allow them to exercise their political rights fully throughout the country.
f. The CEP will be allowed to ask and receive logistical, technical, and financial assistance from the International Community through the Government.
A. Senators and Representatives
Those who had been elected in the legislative elections of May 21, 2000 shall remain in office until the arrival of their successors, who shall serve a normal term after the publication of the results of the elections.
B. Territorial Communities
After the signature of the Agreement, some local officials (identified by consensus between Fanmi Lavalas and Democratic Convergence) will be removed from office due to their abuses of power. Those replacing them, selected among honest citizens and recommended by the Commission for Electoral Guarantees, shall be appointed as Executive Agents until the new elected officials take office.
The incumbents (except those removed for abuse of power) shall be allowed to remain in office until the new elected officials are sworn in.
The CEP shall have the discretionary power to reject any person that it considers unfit to run for office.
A compensatory plan could be set to cover the loss of income due to the reduction of the period of the terms.
The remaining local officials shall stay in office until their successors are sworn in and take office. However, as described in the existing OAS proposition, the Commission for Electoral Guarantees shall monitor the performance of all the local officials during the pre-electoral period.
II. Creating an environment allowing the expression of political choices and the conduct of free elections
We agree that any necessary step should be taken to promote trust and respect between the political parties and the Government.
Specifically, police will have to be particularly careful in fulfilling its duties with impartiality, neutrality, and equity. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) shall have the authority to monitor the fulfilling of its duties by the police with impartiality, neutrality, and equity. To that end, the CEP shall establish a monitoring mechanism in cooperation with the political parties, the civil society, and the churches.
The CEP shall receive, through such mechanism and its Commission for Electoral Guarantees, the complaints and requests from political parties, candidates, and citizens concerning the work of the National Police in the context of the electoral process. In addition, the mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and its Elections Monitoring mission shall have the right to report any violation to the CEP.
The CEP shall have the right to contact the Higher Council of the National Police (CSPN) to recommend corrective actions. In addition, it will have the right to contact the Government of the Republic to make recommendations aimed at solving the identified problems. The CEP recommendations can include specific suggestions about the deadline for their implementation. The CSPN will take all measures necessary to process the CEP recommendations as diligently as possible, in order to maintain an environment facilitating the electoral campaigns, as well as the operations during the days of the voting and the following days.
The Higher Council of the National Police shall guarantee against any interference in the recruiting, work, and professional conduct of the police.
The Haitian Government shall invite a mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to determine whether those rights are respected.
The Haitian Government shall also ask the OAS and CARICOM to send a Mission of Electoral Observers (MOE) which will be present throughout the electoral process. The MOE will provide technical assistance to the CEP and look for the existence of all the necessary conditions guaranteeing free, transparent, and fair elections, and allowing the free expression of political choices without any form of intimidation.
The Haitian Government shall seek technical assistance for the National Police in designing and implementing security plans.
The CEP creates a Commission for Electoral Guarantees whose role is to:
– Strengthen the participation and trust of citizens, institutions, candidates, and political parties in the electoral process.
– Assist the CEP in receiving, reviewing, and processing complaints from candidates and the population about the electoral process.
– The Commission for Electoral Guarantees (C.G.E.) shall include, among others, representatives from election monitoring organizations and one national coordination entity based on the established rules for national coordination and election monitoring, and representatives from the civil society. The OAS Special Mission for Reinforcing Democracy in Haiti shall participate as an observer.
– It shall be jointly headed by personalities selected by the Episcopal Conference and the Protestant Federation of Haiti, under the supervision of the CEP president.
The Commission for Electoral Guarantees shall create decentralized commissions within the departments and the communes. The communal commissions shall be allowed to attend the meetings of the municipal councils and CASECS. They will have access to any documentation produced by these groups and the authority to investigate said documentation as well as the testimonies about the actions of the communes and CASECS. The departmental commissions will have the authority to investigate the government?s actions and personnel in each district. If serious frauds or violations of the Constitution, the electoral laws, or this agreement are discovered, those departmental and communal commissions shall communicate the results of their investigations to the Commission?s national office. The CGE shall then ask the Executive and the Judicial branches to take appropriate action, and particularly to implement the provisions of articles 72 and 73 of the Constitution. The CGE shall also communicate the records on these cases to the Mission of Electoral Observers and the OAS mission residing in Port-au-Prince.
III. Since the purpose of a national dialogue is to reach a political agreement allowing to strengthen democracy and respect for human rights, and promote economic and social progress, we agree to start a dialogue between the political parties and organizations of the civil society, with the support of the Haitian Government and the OAS Special Mission for Reinforcing Democracy in Haiti within 30 days of signing this agreement, and develop and sign a political accord on the following issues:
a. Citizens safety, justice and police system, including the creation of civilian offices to monitor the police
b. Strengthening of democracy and institutions for participation, including the institutionalization of the political parties
c. Human rights
d. Social and economic development
e. Government and transparency
IV. Formula for selecting the CEP members
We agree that the President of the Republic shall have the authority appoint CEP members among the persons nominated by a committee including:
– 1 representative of Fanmi Lavalas
– 1 representative of Democratic Convergence
– 1 representative from the other political parties
– 1 representative of the Episcopal Conference
– 1 representative of the Protestant Churches coordinated by the Protestant Federation of Haiti
– 1 representative of the Episcopal Church
– 1 representative of the Judiciary
– 1 representative of Employers organizations coordinated by GCIH
– 1 representative of human rights organizations coordinated by Justice and Peace.
In case an organization or sector does not submit its choice within the specified deadline, the vacancy shall be jointly filled by the Episcopal Conference, the Protestant Federation of Haiti, the Episcopal Church, the Judiciary, and the coordinating organization for the human rights groups.
In case a CEP member resigns or becomes disabled or unavailable, he/she will be replaced by the same entity who had nominated him/her.
As specified in Chapter I, each member must deserve the respect and trust of all the citizens. Before their appointment, the names of the nominees must be submitted to an assessment by the undersigned parties to evaluate their qualifications.
V- Provisions about International Cooperation
We also agree to ask the OAS Secretary General to work with the member countries of CARICOM in order to normalize relations between Haiti and the International Community, including the international financial institutions, as progress is made toward an effective implementation of this political agreement, aimed at reaching a permanent solution to the crisis resulting from the May 21, 2000 elections, and promoting economic and social development in Haiti.
Fanmi Lavalas Democratic Convergence
Federation of Protestant Churches of Haiti
Civil Society Initiative
New Haiti Foundation
Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy
Organization of American States
Dean of the Diplomatic Corps
United States of America
Reviewed and approved by the Government of Haiti