Several ministers of the Latortue government took office yesterday. Justice Minister Bernard Gousse promises to fight impunity with the help of a credible judicial apparatus. He promises to make changes in this ministry so that the Haitian people may fully enjoy their constitutional privileges. He said that most of the problems that the Haitian judicial system was facing have already been identified, and what needs to be done now is to find appropriate solutions. Gousse said: “We will set up institutions that will allow this branch of the government to regain its autonomy.” He announced that he will contribute to the reform of the law school of the State University. He said he is counting on the support of the interior minister and the police chief to guarantee security in the country. He believes that it is necessary for the country to have a police institution that is not politicized and that can serve the nation and the law. Gousse said: “I want to say that a police force can be credible as long as it is well commanded. And we have confidence in the commander in chief of the police. I use the constitutional term commander in chief on purpose because it is necessary for the police to have a good command.” The head of government is pleased to have Gousse at the head of the judicial department. Gerard Latortue urged the staff to cooperate with the new minister. He made it clear that there is not going to be any witch hunt and that all persons who can do their jobs correctly will maintain their place in the Justice Ministry.
The national education minister was also installed yesterday. Pierre Buteau, who wants to give a new image to the education system, intends to work first to reopen the schools. Buteau said: “Concerning the reopening of the schools, talks are under way between the concerned ministers and the police authorities. The readjustment of the school calendar will have to be done in a consensual spirit with everybody’s participation.”
The commerce and tourism minister also took office yesterday. She announced that the government will consider all the losses that hit the business sector during the February events. Commerce Minister Danielle Saint-Lot promises to reinforce the partnership between the private and public sectors.
The Council of Eminent Persons (COEP) announces the expansion of the institution to include other sectors so that it can fully represent society. After working on the formation of the Latortue government, the COEP members intend to get back to work this time to fulfil their mission, which is to exert control over the executive branch of the government.
The Democratic Convergence hails the job that the COEP members have done while being critical about the Latortue government. A Convergence delegation paid a visit to the COEP, which is working in difficult conditions. Micha Gaillard said: “Our visit here is to show support to the COEP. The Convergence hails the efficient and voluntary work of the COEP members.”
Haitian Artist Theodore Beaubrun hails the decision by the prime minister not to include members of political parties in his government. Beaubrun, who participated in several anti-Aristide demonstrations, said that it is necessary to have disinterested people at the head of the state.
International Haitian rap singer Wycleff Jean issues a call for the young people in the shantytowns to make peace for the welfare of the country. Jean wants the young people to stand united for the progress of Haiti. He expresses his wishes in a rap song.
Canada and the international francophony organization have issued a call for the French-speaking countries in Africa to participate in the reconstruction of Haiti by sending troops under the aegis of the United Nations.
Yesterday, a UNICEF official in Port-au-Prince expressed concerned about the Haitian children who are victims of violence and invited the current Haitian authorities to protect children’s rights.
The former security chief of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Oriel Jean, is awaiting the court’s decision in Canada. Jean, who was arrested there recently, is accused of involvement in drug trafficking.
The US ambassador in Haiti confirms that judicial authorities in the United States would like to see Oriel Jean extradited. The US ambassador condemns the fact that former President Aristide did not take any measures against the drug dealers of the former regime.