The Council of Eminent Persons (COEP) condemns the way changes were made in the ministerial cabinet. The COEP members, who did not attend the inaugural ceremony of the new ministerial cabinet, think that some of the choices were based on a vote-catching gimmick and clique dealings instead of what is at stake in the current situation. COEP spokeswoman Danielle Magloire explains as follows:

The COEP wants to explain to the people the reasons why it did not participate in the inaugural ceremony of the new ministerial cabinet on June 22. Through this symbolic gesture, the COEP wanted to express its position and draw the attention of all sectors of society to the thoughtlessness with which these changes were made by the head of the transitional government, Gerard Latortue, particularly in the face of the current and difficult situation.

The COEP believes that a ministerial reshuffle ought to be an instrument to rebuild confidence and to attempt to give a new breath to the transitional government. By addressing the real problems, a reshuffle should allow the people to see a political willingness to bring some answers to their major concerns.

In this way, during our consultations with the prime minister, we insisted on the fact that the assessment of the candidates would be based on two fundamental needs, that is, their personal credibility and their capacity to tackle the urgent problems that should be resolved by the concerned ministries.

From this viewpoint, the COEP had referred to the guidance advocated in the given road map to consider the reactions of the candidates during interviews that were systematically carried out. The COEP had also drawn the attention of the head of government to the fact that, by submitting just one application for two posts, this would limit considerably the council’s assessment in the process. For the third post where several applications were submitted, the COEP had issued a relatively favorable feedback for one candidate and formulated strong reservations about the others.

The COEP was invited to attend the inaugural ceremony without any prior communication on the final choices jointly decided upon by the two branches of the executive branch. While recognizing that the executive branch has the right not to accept its advice, the council nevertheless believes that the current tragic situation requires a gesture on the part of the executive due to the fact that its political management is seriously questioned and effective cooperation is necessary for the success of the road map’s objectives.

The executive branch has decided to disregard the COEP’s advice without even taking time to explain its position. The council must therefore affirm that some choices that were made were based on a vote-catching gimmick and clan dealings instead of a well understood interest in the stakes of the sociopolitical situation for the future of the country.

The COEP urges the executive branch to reconsider the options maintained in the ministerial shuffle, and invites the organized sectors and political parties to intervene in this regard. The time is for responsibility and collective interest.