Originally: Opposition leader supports general strike on 24 January

The leader of the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) supports the 184 civil society organizations that have issued a call for a general strike on Friday, January 24.

Chavanne Jean-Baptiste, whose organization is a member of that group, remains convinced that Jean-Bertrand Aristide should leave office. The MPP leader thinks that these 184 organizations will eventually insist on Aristide’s resignation in order to facilitate a way out of the crisis. Jean-Baptiste speaks as follows:

Actually, I am here right now because we are very active in what is taking place in the country.

Q: Well, as far as I am aware your position has always been that Aristide should leave office. But these 184 organizations have not reached that point yet. So, it looks like a setback in comparison with your position.

A: Let me explain. The current position of the MPP and the MPNKP (Papaye Congress National Peasants’ Movement) has not changed. We always made it clear that negotiations would not be able to find a solution to the crisis that the country is going through.

We never believed in the negotiations that were being carried out by the OAS or the Civil Society Initiative Group.  Our position has always been this: fair, free, credible and democratic elections would never be possible in this country while Jean-Bertrand Aristide is installed in the National Palace. That has always been our position and we were always clear about that. But as we all know, politics is a balance of power.

Today, we believe that no particular sector has the capacity to solve the country’s problems. In December, the MPNKP issued a call for unity to all the sectors that did not want to see the country destroyed.

That is why through those 184 organizations, we want to form unity in diversity. Actually, I have took part in different meetings with that cluster of groups and I can say that 80 per cent of those sectors have already made clear that nothing is possible with Aristide…