PORT-AU- PRINCE, Haiti – Haiti continues to hurt. The cycle of depredations and violence of the armed gangs continues, expanding to new areas and adding to the already high number of victims. The political actors, fully aware of this dire reality, continue their zero-sum approach to the efforts to reach an agreement that would bring an end to the protracted political deadlock, opening the way to address the other facets of the crisis.
The Eminent Persons Group (EPG) of CARICOM carried out their third visit to Haiti on 8-14 November 2023. They were buoyed initially by the prospects raised by information that tentative agreement had been reached on some critical areas of convergence following concessions made by prime minister Henry during informal discussions, led by a facilitator, which had taken place during their absence.
The EPG sought to build on these points of agreement with regard to transitional governance arrangements for free and fair elections. These points included the widening and strengthening of the attributes of the High Transition
Council to bring about a better balance of executive power, the composition of the Provisional Electoral Council, the designation of a body to oversee government action, and the establishment of an inclusive government of national unity.
It was immediately apparent in the course of the EPG’s discussions that the earlier intransigent position of some sections of the opposition group insisting on the resignation of the prime minister as a pre-condition for meaningful discussions still prevailed. The governance concessions the prime minister was willing to make were brushed aside, perceived as an effort to prolong his tenure.
Based on the encouraging responses of stakeholders to a proposal made by the EPG in the course of the engagements, the Group will provide a draft framework of accord for their consideration and discussion that takes into account the points the stakeholders have raised in the course of these engagements.