Click the logo to read Claude Moïse’s “Forced March, or a Scorched Earth Strategy?” It may be slow-loading
The author aptly questions how President Moïse can invoke the constitution’s five-year presidential term, yet violate its strict prohibition against popular referendums on a new constitution. Having exposed this inconsistency of Jovenel Moïse, he then introduces a couple of disturbing inconsistencies of his own:
- He notes that he was among the framers of the amendments adopted in 2011, among them Article 134-2 which provides that in the event of a late presidential election the winner takes office immediately upon certification and the schedule is juggled to accommodate this late start. With this amendment no less in the public eye than the referendum he is writing about, one would expect that he would here fully explain its motivation and workings, note its non-application in 2017 and the voiding of its schedule, and then explore how this piece of jurisprudence of his could be so cavalierly ignored in practice yet so widely exploited in the political polemics. The same goes for Georges Michel, a framer of the original constitution who recently wrote making the same point and the same omission as Claude Moïse. If not for the reputation of these two mega-contributors, we would have to suspect tactical political reasons.
- As one would expect from an author of his stature, Claude Moïse throughout his article notes the questions about the 1987 constitution’s suitability for Haiti, given the deterioration over the thirty-four years since it was adopted. If one reads between the lines, he almost endorses a new constitution but by the correct method. Looking at this correct method, though, did the amendments in 2011 and those proposed in 2016 amount to anything more than tinkering? Were those amendments even applied, since we know Article 134-2 was not? So, while conceding the illegality of what Jovenel Moïse is doing, can Haiti get a new constitution any other way? Claude Moïse avoids this difficult question and we don’t know if it is the doctor’s treatment or his bedside manner that most bothers him. He finishes with the old Haitian “national conference” stand-by, just get everyone around the table and hash it out. See Assistant Secretary Julia Chung’s remarks about that one.