Presidential candidate Rene Preval of the Hope Platform (Platform Lespwa) does not intend to hinder the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti. He evokes an article in the Haitian Constitution to justify his position.

Preval, who spoke publicly for the first time since his electoral campaign was officially launched two months ago, said in a visit to Jacmel today that the constitution is against exile. The former president of the republic spoke as follows:

“I am running in the presidential election so that I can govern the country. I am running in the presidential election so that I can have the constitution respected. President Aristide, like any other exiled political person, can return to the country whenever he wants. Article 41.1 of the constitution stipulates that no Haitian citizen needs a visa to leave or return to the country.”

“Do you not think that Aristide’s return will create total confusion in Haitian society?”

“I told you that Aristide’s return is not something that depends on me. I am saying it again. Article 41 of the constitution says that any Haitian citizen can return to the country without a visa. If it were my responsibility to issue visas then you could say that it is up to me whether or not he comes back to the country. It is not up to me at all if this person can just buy a ticket and come back home. Article 42 says that no Haitian citizen, civil or military, can be sent before any other judges except the judges assigned by the constitution and the law. So, it is up to this person to decide what he will or will not do. It is not up to me to answer this question.”