Originally: Convergence leader says Aristide suggested possibility of power-sharing

President Jean Bertrand Aristide has suggested the possibility of sharing power with the opposition to get the country out of the current impasse, according to the leader of the Nationalistic Progressive Revolutionary Party of Haiti [PANPRA].

Serge Gilles and Evans Paul met with the head of state at the Apostolic Nunciature on 12 January. Gilles said that the power sharing issue was not fully discussed, because the meeting focused on the concerns of the different sectors in the face of a possible civil war that threatens to take place in the country.

Gilles seized the occasion to specify that the position of the Convergence has not changed concerning the steps that it should take to get the country out of the current impasse. Gilles was interviewed by Rotchilde Francois Jr

[Gilles – recording] //He [the president] indeed said that the situation was serious with the strikes and other things that are taking place in the country.

He also mentioned the situation at the state university. I told him that he is in power and that he should know what concrete actions must be taken and that words are not enough.

I seized the occasion to talk about our concerns too. I talked about the fact that Lavalas partisans are beating people with sticks and whips. I talked about the Carrefour situation where young people are being murdered, and university students are being killed. I also mentioned the Plateau Central situation where they accused the opposition of having an armed branch. I told him that those things are not right.//

And I also seized the occasion to tell him that it is necessary for us to show good will and that political willingness is necessary to avoid a catastrophic situation in the country. We need to be wise, I told him, because civil war will not do any good to the nation. He talked about sharing power, and I am confirming he said this. But there is nothing else worth mentioning.

[Francois] //So, is it true that the president talked about the possibility of him appointing an opposition member as prime minister?//

[Gilles] //People are saying all sorts of things. He did not specify. He only spoke about the possibility of sharing power if that could help solve the crisis.// He was ready to talk about that. //Neither Paul nor I commented on that.// We took note of what he said so we could report to others about it. I was not there to negotiate, and people should understand that. I was only there to listen to what he had to say. I needed to know about the gravity of the situation.

[Francois] //Have you changed your position after your meeting with President Aristide?//

[Gilles] //The position of the opposition remains the same. We still stand on the decision taken on 15 January. First, it should be clear to everyone: Nobody can divide the opposition. Second, nobody can separate us from our partners who share our demands. We think that the country will be put on the democracy path when jobs are created in the country and in order to ensure a good government, we believe that major changes are necessary.

We have said before that the opposition is united and we will stay united. We have partners, and we will keep them. But after all, I am a free man. If I am told that the country is in danger and that I have to pay attention then I will pay attention. I always do that…