23 May 05
Prime Minister Gerard Latortue has denounced what he describes as the confusion in the electoral process because of the lack of coordination between the international organizations in charge of providing assistance to the international community. The prime minister has reiterated the willingness of his government to hold good elections as scheduled. He took the opportunity to call on the press to play its role as an agent of peace in this election year. Prime Minister Latortue spoke as follows:
When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, you risk spoiling the broth. Well, this is perhaps the drama that exists today with the CEP (Provisional Electoral Council). There are too many people who supposedly want to help the CEP, whereas everyone has their own objective and is pulling in different directions, with UNOPS (United Nations Operations Service) on one side, the United Nations on another and the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti on another. I believe the CEP must find a way to integrate all these organizations under just one responsibility, under just one command. Otherwise if everyone keeps on pulling in different directions, the food is in danger of being ruined.
The second thing I want to say is that you know this is the first time in years that we have a CEP that is totally independent from the government. I, as head of government, and the president of the republic are not involved at all. We do not interfere in the CEP’s work at all. So, you know what? This is the first time the people have enjoyed so much freedom. So, sometimes, they do not know how to use it. But anyway, what I have done in the government is to try to maintain regular contact – I am now going to make it even more regular – with the CEP in order to encourage them.
I believe that you in the press and the rest of the people should not be focusing on the differences. You should not be focusing on the divisions. You all must get together to encourage people to work together. Let us encourage a little more cohesion. If somebody has begun talking in the CEP, if somebody has begun insulting someone else on the radio, we should not encourage it, because I believe that the press can play a role in the national reconciliation too, even within the framework of total freedom. If we can facilitate a friendly settlement I believe that we should encourage anyone who is saying good things about another. But if they are saying bad things, try to calm them so as not to make them angry, because elections are the only way to get out of the crisis.
Source: Radio Galaxie, Port-au-Prince, in French 1130 gmt 23 May 05