8 January 2002
FIFTH REPORT OF THE MISSION OF THE
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES TO HAITI
Progress toward an initial accord
This document is being distributed to the permanent missions and
will be presented to the Permanent Council of the Organization.
On the basis of extensive consultations on Haiti among the Heads of State and Government at the Third Summit of the Americas held in Quebec City, Canada, April 18-22 2001, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien stated at the closing ceremony, in pertinent part: "… we have asked the Secretary General of the OAS, Cesar Gaviria, to work with CARICOM, to hold consultations, to visit Port-au-Prince in the near future, to report his findings to the OAS before the next General Assembly, and to ensure adequate follow-up."
In pursuance of this request, the Secretary General and the former Prime Minister of Dominica, Dame Eugenia Charles, led a joint OAS-CARICOM mission to Haiti from May 29-31 2001 to continue the efforts which had been ongoing under the aegis of the OAS to resolve the political crisis stemming from disputed legislative and local elections in Haiti in May 2000 /.
The mission held consultations with President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, representatives of Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Democratique, other sectors of the political community, civil society and the church. The mission concluded that owing to mistrust between the two principal protagonists, the climate was not conducive to face to face negotiations to resolve the crisis.
As the mission prepared to leave, President Aristide wrote a letter to the President of the XXXI Regular Session of the General Assembly of the OAS containing five elements which, in his opinion, would "foster an end to this situation", and solicited support of the international community for his initiative. This letter was published as AG/INF.260/01 corr.1.
The General Assembly took the elements which the president offered as a basis for negotiations and approved resolution AG/RES.1831 (XXXI-O/01) to start a process to conclude "a broad-based agreement among the Government of Haiti, political parties and civil society, and other relevant institutions of Haitian society…" It instructed the Secretary General to "increase his efforts" in pursuance of that objective. A copy of that resolution is attached at Appendix I.
In implementing the General Assembly resolution, the OAS has attempted to achieve an agreement that is consensual, sustainable and broad enough to resolve the political crisis. An agreement which meets those criteria is possible only if the concerns of both sides are considered.
Seeking to build confidence through a step-by-step process, the OAS adopted an approach that envisaged the signing of an initial accord on a number of key elements, to be followed later by the negotiation of a global accord on a wider range of issues.
The Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization have made very substantial progress in their attempts to broker the initial agreement. Its main elements were the constitution of a credible electoral council and agreement on a number of measures that would create an enabling environment for acceptable elections. However, their efforts have failed, so far, to reach a consensus broad enough to conclude the talks because of profound differences on the timing of those elections and the status that elected local officials from the May 21, 2000 elections would have in the period between the signing of an accord and the date of new elections. There are difficulties also in reconciling the strategy of Fanmi Lavalas to achieve a limited initial accord strictly within the parameters of the General Assembly resolution, and the attempt of Convergence Démocratique to have most if not all of its concerns addressed in the initial agreement.
To bring the talks to a successful conclusion, the OAS in December put to the two sides a compromise proposal that attempts to address their concerns. It is widely believed to constitute the basis of a fair deal that could work. However, intermittent politically motivated violence and disorder has created a climate of insecurity and mutual mistrust which continues to frustrate a successful conclusion.
This report covers negotiations from the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 1831 of June 5, 2001 to the last round of talks on December 12, 2001.
In fulfillment of the General Assembly mandate, Secretary General Gaviria and Assistant Secretary General Einaudi visited Haiti June 29-July 3, 2001 to foster dialogue to resolve the crisis.
Against the background of assertions by the political opposition that the OAS resolution did not cover their major concerns, the delegation put forward for consideration a working document which included accompanying measures to create a climate that was conducive to credible elections.
The first major breakthrough in the talks was achieved when Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Démocratique agreed on a formula for the establishment of a new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). President Aristide and all the sectors involved in the negotiations accepted that the consensus formula could create an institution that would satisfy the standard envisaged in the General Assembly resolution.
Discussions on the mandate of the CEP did not yield an agreement. At a critical point in the deliberations the Civil Society Initiative proposed that all 18 Senators and all the Deputies elected on May 21, 2000 should face new elections at the end of 2002 and that the local elections would be held at the same time. It was proposed also that there would be no contestation of the November 26 elections during which Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide and nine Senators were elected. Convergence Democratique endorsed the proposal; Fanmi Lavalas did not object to it; both requested time to consult.
However, when the discussions resumed after a break of seven hours, Fanmi Lavalas declared in a counter-proposal that seven senators had already resigned, five senators whose seats were not challenged had agreed to resign and six senators whose election was not challenged had agreed that their mandate would end in 2004 instead of 2006.
The session was suspended on Tuesday, July 3, when it became clear that a consensus would not be reached and both sides needed more time for reflection and further consultation.
The Secretary General returned to Port-au-Prince, July 13-15, 2001 to advance the negotiations. During that round of the discussions, both sides reached consensus on the following issues which were outstanding at the suspension of negotiations on July 3:
- Role and comportment of the Police in the electoral process
- Establishment, functions and modus operandi of a Commission of Electoral Guarantees.
- Matters relating to the staffing complement and administrative management of the CEP.
- Normalization of relations between Haiti and the international financial institutions.
The consensus on these issues is reflected in Rev.8 of the Draft Initial Accord, which is attached to this report as Appendix II.
On Sunday July 15, the Secretary General convened a meeting between representatives of the international donor community on the one hand and of the government and Fanmi Lavalas on the other, to discuss Haiti's relationship with the community within the context of the negotiations.
The delegations of the government and Fanmi Lavalas were led by Prime Minister Chéréstal and Senator Yvon Neptune, interim president of Fanmi Lavalas respectively. The donor community was represented by the ambassadors of the United States, France, Spain, Germany, the European Union and the head of the Canadian Cooperation Agency in Port-au-Prince.
The Prime Minister indicated that the government had made enormous sacrifices since the disputed elections, to correct deficiencies identified by the international community. He emphasized that the government's understanding of OAS General Assembly resolution 1831 of June 5, 2001 was that, in return for the resignation of the seven contested senators a process would begin of which the normalization of Haiti's relations with the international community would be a critical and integral component. He inferred that there was little reciprocation by the international community for the efforts of the government. The Prime Minister's position was endorsed by Senator Neptune.
The community advised the delegation that the OAS resolution created a dynamic which facilitated face-to face negotiations, and identified three phases in the resolution:
- Resignation of the contested senators
- The creation of a credible, independent and neutral electoral council with operational mechanism
- Negotiation of a global accord
The community envisaged a gradual return to a normal relationship with a phased release of funds upon a positive resolution of the crisis.
Prime Minister Chéréstal took note of all the information provided by the representations, but expressed concern that normalization might not commence upon signing of a preliminary accord but at the conclusion of a global accord.
The Secretary General expressed the view that the exchanges were frank, but useful because they brought transparency to the relationship between Haiti and the international community. He saw the need for more confidence building, which could be facilitated by an accord.
During the discussions on the mandate of the CEP, Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Démocratique agreed that legislative elections should be held in November 2002 for eighteen senators and all members of the Chamber of Deputies. The two sides failed to reach a consensus on elections for the Collectivités Territoriales. Convergence Démocratique favored holding the local elections together with the legislative elections on the same date in November 2002.
Fanmi Lavalas proposed May 2003 for the local elections, then offered as a second option, one election for the Legislature and Collectivités Territoriales on a date to be determined between March and July 2003. Covergence Démocratique tabled as a counter proposal the first round of elections for the Legislature in November 2002 and the second round of said elections together with the local elections on a date to be determined by the CEP.
Convergence Démocratique presented a new proposal, not previously discussed, on a calendar for the incumbents who were elected in the May 21, 2000 elections to vacate office prior to the new elections. Fanmi Lavalas objected strongly to the calendar of departure on grounds that no deficiencies had been identified by the OAS in the local elections and thus the officials should be deemed duly elected and allowed to complete their term. Moreover, Fanmi Lavalas argued that that demand would seriously jeopardize plans for commemoration of the bicentennial of Haitian independence in January 2004.
The Secretary General suspended the negotiations when it became apparent that a consensus on this critical issue was unlikely during that round of the negotiations.
On July 28, 2001 armed men attacked a police academy near Port-au-Prince and three police stations in the country. Five Police Officers were killed and 14 were reported wounded. Eleven alleged former members of the disbanded Haitian army were arrested in the Dominican Republic in relation to the incident. The Government of Haiti described the attacks as an attempt to overthrow it and accused the political opposition of complicity in the incident. The opposition rejected those accusations and claimed that the government was using the incident as a pretext to detain and persecute its supporters.
The incident created a renewed climate of mistrust in the political community and threatened to frustrate the negotiations. The opposition used the incident as a basis for demanding additional guarantees or strengthening of the monitoring or verification mechanisms in the initial accord.
GROUP OF FRIENDS
In fulfillment of a provision of resolution 1831 of the XXXI Regular Session of the General Assembly, the Secretary General established on October 2, 2000, a Group of Friends of Haiti to assist in efforts to resolve the difficulties in the country. The Group was constituted of the following countries: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Spain, the United States of America and Venezuela.
Among many functions, the Group of Friends serves as an informal advisory group to the Secretary General, and helps to represent views and issues to the political authorities in Haiti. It also provides support for the various activities explicitly mandated in the General Assembly resolution such as the strengthening of democracy, the promotion of human rights and the social and economic development of Haiti.
Assistant Secretary General Einaudi undertook a new mission to Haiti October 12 to 14, 2001 to relaunch the negotiations and to attempt to conclude an initial accord.
Both Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Démocratique agreed to resume face-to-face talks from the point at which they were suspended on July 15. They agreed also on the following agenda:
- The date for the elections
- The calendar of departure of the incumbents
- The environment for credible elections
The negotiations were intense and revealed substantial differences between the two sides. Ambassador Einaudi sought to focus the talks on dates for the elections in a neutral and dispassionate manner, avoiding explanations on the reasons why elections were to be held. He tabled the following proposal:
- Elections for two-thirds of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in November 2002
- Elections for the Collectivités Territoriales in March 2003
- Indirect elections to be held after those elections
The OAS proposal did not deal with the issue of when the officials would leave office, but was within the parameters of what the government offered in July.
Fanmi Lavalas requested that the OAS amend its position by restoring the qualifying adjective early to the elections. They also suggested June for local elections and indicated that that their willingness to advance these elections from their scheduled date of November 2003 was exclusively to accommodate the commemoration of the bicentennial of Haitian Independence.
Ambassador Einaudi decided to stand on what he tabled as a compromise and to avoid any adjective that would favor one side or the other. Convergence Democratique accepted the OAS proposal without conditions. Fanmi Lavalas rejected the proposal insisting on the adjective "early" to deny the opposition any opportunity to claim that they were new elections because the May 21, 2000 elections were invalid.
Fanmi Lavalas' renewed rejection of the proposed compromise broke off the talks.
Some progress had been made, however. Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Démocratique reaffirmed their acceptance of November 2002 for legislative elections. However, the talks failed because they could not agree on a date for the local elections. The government wanted the local officials who were elected on May 21, 2000 to complete their term. Convergence believed that that position constituted an obstacle to fairness because control by Lavalas of the local authorities would be detrimental to the opposition in the elections.
The OAS tabled a mechanism to hold discredited local officials accountable for their acts and to restrain the others, to permit a semblance of fairness. Fanmi Lavalas and the government responded in writing with a counter-proposal that was general. Convergence agreed in principle to the OAS mechanism, but promised to add a few elements.
When negotiations were suspended on October 14, 2001, the positions of Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Democratique on the issues were as follows:
Mandate of the C.E.P.
Proposal of the OAS (Endorsed by Convergence)
A. To organize, in November 2002, elections for the Chamber of Deputies and two-thirds of the Senate.
B. To organize, not later than March 2003, elections for the Collectivités Territoriales. Indirect elections will be held after those elections.
Counter-proposal of Fanmi Lavalas
A. To organize early elections in November 2002 for the Chamber of Deputies and two-thirds of the Senate.
B. To organize elections for the Collectivites Territoriales on a date to be determined by the Provisional Electoral Council, during the first semester of 2003. Indirect elections will be held after those for the Collectivites Territoriales.
Calendar of Departure
Proposal of Lavalas
A. Senators and Deputies
Those who assumed membership of the legislature as a result of the elections of May 2000 will remain in their posts until the results of the proposed elections are declared and the newly elected take the oath of office.
B. Collectivites Territoriales (Mayors and CASEC)
Those officials who assumed office as a result of the elections of May 21, 2000, will hold office until their mandate expires in January 2004.
Proposal of Convergence Democratique
A. The Senators, Deputies, ASEC and DV retain their posts until March 2002.
B. The background of the Mayors and CASEC will be examined by the Commission of Electoral Guarantees to ensure that they did not engage in undemocratic behavior.
Those who have met that standard will be appointed Interim Executive Agents who will stay in their posts until their successors take office, normally about two months after the elections.
Those deemed unworthy of the positions will be replaced. A joint Fanmi Lavalas-Convergence Democratique Commission will recommend their replacement.
In an informal meeting of the Group of Friends at OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss the outcome of the October talks, a consensus developed around a proposal by the Ambassador of Argentina to the OAS that based on informal consultations on the issues, the OAS should propose some elements of an agreement to both sides. The idea led ultimately to a document entitled "ELEMENTS OF A COMPROMISE PROPOSAL", drawn up for what was envisaged as the final round of talks to conclude an initial accord (Appendix III).
Secretary General Cesar Gaviria visited Haiti briefly on November 30, 2001 to encourage Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Democratique to engage purposefully and with a greater sense of resolve to conclude an initial accord.
The Secretary General was accompanied by Ambassadors Albert Ramdin, Denneth Modeste and Sergio Romero, the Personal Representative of the Secretary General in Haiti.
The delegation held separate discussions over a period of six hours, with President Aristide, members of Convergence Democratique, the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and representatives of the Group of Friends of Haiti.
The Secretary General formed the impression that both the President and constituents within the opposition were ready to discuss the outstanding issues and explore formulas preparatory to full negotiations. He underscored with all sides the importance of concluding the talks expeditiously in the national interest and advised that further actions would depend on an assessment by Assistant Secretary General Luigi R. Einaudi.
CLIMATE OF INSECURITY
Ambassador Einaudi arrived in Haiti December 5, five days after the Secretary General had left, to hold bilateral consultations on the compromise proposal developed by the OAS.
Over a period of seven days, the OAS delegation discussed with the two sides the elements of the OAS compromise, looking for openings to achieve a consensus on the outstanding issues. Fanmi Lavalas demonstrated some willingness to compromise on the date for elections and the status of the local officials after the signature of the accord. The Lavalas delegation appeared ready to accept the holding of one combined election in March 2003 for the Legislature and the local authorities. When the Convergence appeared ready to accept January 2003 for the legislative and local elections, the OAS delegation was persuaded that the date for the election was not an insurmountable problem.
The talks were overshadowed, however, by a climate of insecurity, mutual mistrust and recrimination occasioned by the brutal killing on December 3 of a local journalist, Brignol Lindor, by a mob allegedly associated with Fanmi Lavalas. Convergence echoed widespread charges that the mayor of Petit-Goave, the town in which the incident took place, had only a few days before, publicly threatened the life of the same journalist. In the context of negotiations in which the comportment of local officials is a critical issue, the incident hardened the attitude of Convergence which insisted on its mechanism for the departure of those officials before the next elections.
When it became apparent that an agreement was not forthcoming during the visit, Ambassador Einaudi requested of both sides written responses to the OAS document presented to them for consideration.
On the basis of the discussions with President Aristide, the OAS delegation formed the distinct impression that the document from Lavalas represented a serious offer for further discussion on elements of the OAS documents which the president believed could form the basis for a solution, if the opposition showed greater flexibility.
THE POLITICS OF THE NEGOTIATION
Convergence Democratique contends that there were gross irregularities in the local and legislative elections of May 21,2000 and the presidential elections of November 26, 2000. It states that if Jean-Bertrand Aristide refuses to make further concessions on May 21, it will insist on questioning the legitimacy of the presidential elections.
Fanmi Lavalas concedes that the Legislative elections were not perfect but repudiates any implication that they are to be dismissed as fraudulent. In this position, it claims the support of the official report of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission, which focused on specified "irregularities". Fanmi Lavalas flatly rejects any attempt by Convergence Democratique to question the integrity of the presidential elections of November 26, 2000.
During face to face negotiations on July 2, 2001, Convergence Democratique made a major concession by agreeing not to challenge the presidential elections. The Convergence Democratique negotiators acted in the expectation that Fanmi Lavalas would cede the legislative and municipal elections of May 21. Fanmi Lavalas did in fact offer to rerun the May 21 legislative and municipal elections, but for political reasons refused to hold the municipal elections on the date which both sides have endorsed for the legislative elections - November 2002.
By agreeing to new elections at all levels, Jean-Bertrand Aristide demonstrated a willingness to correct the May 21 elections. However his insistence that local officials complete their terms is strongly resisted by Convergence leaders for two reasons: it deprives them of the opportunity to claim that the May 21, 2000 elections were null and void, and it ensures that Fanmi Lavalas will be in a position to abuse power at the polls when new elections are held.
The issue of when those who now hold office as a result of the May 21, 2000 elections leave office is further complicated by uncertainty over what this would mean for the legitimacy of their actions while in office. What, for example, would be the implication for such acts as the parliamentary ratification of pending IDB loans? Within Haiti, an across-the-board repudiation of the acts of the current parliament would hardly be conducive to stability.
In the early hours of the morning of Monday, December 17, an armed group launched an attack on the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince. Five police officers were reported killed in the attack.
In ensuing violence, the homes of several opposition leaders and the offices of Convergence Democratique and three of its constituent parties were set on fire.
There is a growing sense that those events have severely retarded the progress of the negotiations and created conditions that are not now favorable for dialogue.
On December 27, two major leaders of the Convergence wrote the Secretary General asking for the invocation of Article 18 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and enclosing their version of the events of December 17. The Convergence report focuses on what it calls "acts of war against the Convergence" following the attack on the Palace. Among them, it lists the burning and sacking of party offices and private residences throughout the country, as well as acts against journalists. In many of these events, the Convergence records the participation of representatives of Fanmi Lavalas and of government ministries. On January 1, in a Message to the Nation on the occasion of the 198th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Independence of Haiti, President Aristide acknowledged that "there exists a crisis in our country, however, neither crisis nor ambition should make us forget that we are brothers and sisters"and urged "we need bridges of dialogue, not walls of exclusion".
Both Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Democratique need to be in a position to argue that they have made sufficient gains under any accord to enable them to sign it and commend it to their supporters.
On the basis of elements in the draft accord that have already been accepted by both sides, Convergence Democratique will make the following gains:
- An agreed formula for a credible, neutral and independent Provisional Electoral Council.
- Presence of an OAS Special Mission to monitor the implementation of the accord.
- Deployment of an OAS Electoral Observation Mission to ensure the credibility of the elections.
- International assistance to strengthen political parties.
Convergence would make additional gains if both sides accepted the compromise proposal to end the crisis.
- Re-run of legislative and local elections.
- Replacement of abusive local officials and a mechanism to monitor compliance with the constitution, electoral law and the political accord.
Overall, the opposition would launch its electoral campaign in a political environment that is more propitious for credible elections.
Upon signing of the initial accord, the OAS will begin the process of normalization of Haiti's relations with the international financial institutions, pursuant to OAS General Assembly Resolution 1831 of June 5, 2001.
Injection of the funds withheld by the International Donor Community into the Haitian economy would generate economic activity which would improve the welfare of the people. It would contribute to stability in the country thereby ensuring a more secure term of office for the president.
The accord would reduce the spectre of illegitimacy which has cast a shadow over Haiti's political institutions, elected officials and all their deliberations since the disputed elections.
The OAS accepts and is encouraged that both Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Democratique had made major concessions from their original positions and that tremendous progress has been made in efforts to reach a settlement.
The Organization is deeply concerned however, that the escalating spiral of violence and mutual aggression is deepening the crisis and causing further deterioration in the economic and social conditions in Haiti.
AG/RES. 1831 (XXXI-O/01)
SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRACY IN HAITI
(Resolution adopted at the fourth plenary session,
held on June 5, 2001)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
BEARING IN MIND:
That the preamble of the OAS Charter establishes that representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace, and development of the region;
That, according to the Charter, one of the essential purposes of the Organization is to promote and consolidate representative democracy, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention;
That another purpose is to promote, by cooperative action, economic, social, and cultural development;
The Santiago Commitment to Democracy and the Renewal of the Inter-American System (1991), the Declaration of Managua (1993), and the declarations and plans of action of the Summits of the Americas (Miami, 1994; Santiago, 1998);
That the Heads of State and Government at the Third Summit of the Americas, emphasized their commitment to defend and strengthen democracy across the Hemisphere; and
The commitment of the OAS and of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to continue their contributions to the strengthening of democracy in Haiti;
RECALLING the conclusions of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission to Haiti on the elections of May 21, 2000, presented in the report to the Permanent Council (CP/doc.3383/00);
RECALLING ALSO resolution CP/RES. 772 (1247/00) of August 4, 2000, in which the Permanent Council, at the request of the Government of Haiti, authorized the Secretary General to lead a Mission to Haiti to "identify, together with the Government of Haiti and other sectors of the political community and civil society, options and recommendations for resolving, as expeditiously as possible, difficulties such as those that have arisen from differing interpretations of the Electoral Law, and for further strengthening democracy in that country";
TAKING NOTE of the reports to the Permanent Council by the General Secretariat regarding the visits to Haiti by the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretary General during the period from August 16, 2000, to February 10, 2001, and of the reports of those missions contained in documents CP/doc.3349/00, of August 24, 2000, CP/doc.3371/00, of November 9, 2000, and CP/doc.3419/01 corr. 2, of March 13, 2001;
BEARING IN MIND ALSO:
The statement made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti before the Permanent Council on March 14, 2001;
Resolution CP/RES. 786 (1267/01) corr. 1, in which the Permanent Council resolved: "To express the conviction that the resolution of the crisis arising from the Haitian elections of May 21, 2000 is essential to the strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights in Haiti";
That the said resolution also requested "the Secretary General to undertake the necessary consultations with the Government of Haiti and other sectors of the political community and civil society, bearing in mind the statement by the Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, on the potential for a dialogue to resolve the crisis arising from the elections of May 21, 2000 and the strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights in Haiti" and to "report on his consultations, and, as appropriate, to propose other measures that could contribute to the strengthening of the democratic process in Haiti";
The statement made by the Chair of the Third Summit of the Americas, the Prime Minister of Canada, during the closing ceremony on April 22, 2001, which acknowledged the problems that continue to limit the democratic, political, economic, and social development of Haiti in the near future and asked the Secretary General, in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to visit Haiti, to report his findings to the OAS, and to ensure adequate follow-up;
The May 9, 2001, decision by the Chairman of the CARICOM Conference, the Prime Minister of Barbados, and the Secretary General of the OAS to establish a joint OAS/CARICOM Mission to Haiti; and
The visit of the Joint OAS-CARICOM Mission from May 29 to 31, 2001, led by the Secretary General and the former Prime Minister of Dominica, Dame Eugenia Charles, the report on which is contained in document AG/INF.264/01;
CONCERNED that the political crisis is still unresolved and that persistent mistrust among political actors continues to hinder the possibility of wide-ranging talks that would bring about a sustainable solution to the problems arising from the May 21, 2000, elections, based on a general agreement among the government of Haiti, political parties, and civil society and other relevant institutions of Haitian society, with a view to resolving the political crisis and strengthening democracy and respect for human rights in that country;
RECOGNIZING the need for financial and technical assistance with a view to contributing to the promotion of Haiti's social and economic development; and
HAVING RECEIVED a letter from the President of Haiti to the President of the thirty-first regular session of the General Assembly of the OAS, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica (AG/INF.260/01 corr. 1),
1. To reiterate its deep concern at the continuing political crisis in Haiti, arising from the elections of May 21, 2000.
2. To take note of the initiative, consisting of five elements, contained in the letter from the President of Haiti (AG/INF.260/01 corr. 1) with regard to the process toward a definitive resolution to the current political crisis.
3. To acknowledge the concerns expressed in said letter regarding the urgency of normalizing relations between Haiti and the international financial institutions.
4. To urge the Government of Haiti to follow the resignations of seven senators with the expeditious constitution, by June 25, 2001, of a credible, independent, and neutral Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), composed of nine members nominated by the Executive, the Judiciary, political parties-including the Convergence démocratique, Fanmi Lavalas, and other political parties-and churches, both Catholic and Protestant. This is a necessary step to create a climate of confidence conducive to a broad-based agreement among the Government of Haiti, political parties, and civil society, and other relevant institutions of Haitian society, with a view to resolving the political crisis and strengthening democracy and respect for human rights in Haiti.
5. To call upon the Government of Haiti, political parties, and civil society, and other relevant institutions of Haitian society to commit themselves fully to this end.
6. To instruct the Secretary General to monitor and report to the Permanent Council on implementation of the commitments contained in document AG/INF.260/01 corr. 1.
7. To instruct the Secretary General to increase his efforts, in consultation with CARICOM and with other interested countries, to contribute further to the resolution of the existing political crisis in Haiti, to its social and economic development, to the strengthening of democracy, and to respect for human rights in that country.
8. To invite the Secretary General to establish a Group of Friends of Haiti from interested OAS member states and permanent observers to assist him in these efforts.
9. To request the Permanent Council to examine, as a matter of urgency, the mandate, modalities, budget, financing, and other arrangements concerning the establishment of a possible mission to Haiti.
10. To instruct the Secretary General to work jointly with member states toward normalizing relations between Haiti and the international community, including the international financial institutions, as progress is achieved in reaching a sustainable solution to the crisis arising from the May 21, 2000, elections.
11. To instruct the Secretary General to report to the Permanent Council or the General Assembly, as appropriate, on the implementation of this resolution.
Rev. 8, July 15, 2001, 11:40 p.m.
INITIAL DRAFT ACCORD
The undersigned, political parties, civil society organizations, and churches, reaffirm our deep conviction that the political crisis must be resolved and democratic institutions must be strengthened. We solemnly pledge to work toward those objectives and to spare no effort to attain them in good faith, in line with hemispheric efforts to promote and consolidate democracy. Therefore, we have agreed on the following points, with the Government's guarantee:
1. The formation of a new credible, independent, and neutral Provisional Electoral Council (CEP).
We agree to participate in appointing the nine members of the CEP, according to the following formula, which has been arrived at by consensus. Each member must be a respected person enjoying the confidence of all citizens. Prior to the appointment of the members, the undersigned shall be consulted about the persons designated, in order to verify that they possess the necessary qualifications.
The CEP shall have the following mandates, responsibilities, authority, and guarantees: /
a. To organize, at the end of 2002, elections to replace members of Parliament who were elected on May 21, 2000.
b. To organize, at the end of 2002, elections for the territorial communities. The indirect elections are conducted after those of the territorial communities.
c. To name the executive officers of the CEP, charged with carrying out its decisions.
d. To review the qualification of the CEP staff to verify that they meet the requirements of professionalism, expertise, impartiality, and fairness. If necessary, the CEP may name new staff possessing those qualities.
e. The CEP shall receive full financial and technical support from the Government of Haiti to ensure its autonomy and its ability to fulfill its duties without interference. In addition, the Government shall take all the necessary decisions and measures to guarantee the security and protect the autonomy of the CEP members, of its staff and advisers, of the candidates, of political militants, and of citizens, so that they may fully exercise their political rights throughout the national territory.
f. The CEP may request and receive logistical, technical, and financial assistance from the international community through the state.
II. The establishment of an environment conducive to the expression of political preferences and permitting free elections
We agree to take all measures that will increase confidence and respect among the political parties and the Government.
The Police in particular should exercise the greatest prudence and care to perform their functions in an impartial, neutral, and just manner. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) shall have the authority to monitor the National Police to see that they are performing their functions in an impartial, neutral, and just manner. To that end, the CEP shall devise a means of supporting this monitoring function, after consultations with the political parties, civil society, and the churches.
Through that mechanism, and through its Electoral Guarantees Committee, the CEP shall receive complaints and requests from political parties, candidates, and citizens concerning National Police operations in connection with the electoral process. Also, the mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Electoral Observation Mission may report to the CEP any shortcomings they may have observed.
The CEP shall have the right to submit recommendations on corrective measures to the Superior National Police Council (CSPN). Likewise, it may communicate with the Government of the Republic to present recommendations for resolving problems it has identified. The recommendations of the CEP may include specific proposed deadlines for their implementation. The CSPN shall take all necessary measures to address the recommendations of the CEP with the greatest diligence, so as to ensure the maintenance of an environment conducive to the success of the campaign, the election, and the post-electoral activities.
The Superior National Police Council shall ensure that there is no interference with the recruitment, work, and professional conduct of the Police.
The Government of Haiti shall invite a mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to monitor the observance of human rights.
The Government of Haiti will also ask the OAS and CARICOM to send an electoral observation mission (EOM) to be present throughout the election process. The EOM will provide the CEP with technical assistance and verify the existence of all the conditions needed to guarantee free, transparent, and fair elections that allow citizens to express their political preferences freely, in an atmosphere free from intimidation.
The Government of Haiti will request technical assistance for the National Police to help with the preparation and implementation of security plans.
The CEP establishes an Electoral Guarantees Committee (EGC) to:
¨ Strengthen the participation and trust of citizens, institutions, candidates, and political parties in the election process.
¨ Help the CEP gather, analyze, and process complaints by candidates or citizens with respect to the electoral process.
¨ The EGC will comprise, inter alia, representatives of electoral observations missions, of a national coordination body formed on the basis of experience with coordinating electoral observation in Haiti, and of civil society organizations. The OAS/CARICOM mission will participate as a witness.
¨ The EGC will be run jointly by eminent persons appointed by the Conference of Bishops and the Protestant Federation of Haiti under the supervision of the President of the CEP.
III. Furtherance of national dialogue aimed at reaching a political agreement that will strengthen democracy and observance of human rights and promote economic and social progress.
We are willing to undertake, within 30 days of the signing of this agreement and with the backing of the Government of Haiti and the OAS-CARICOM mission, a dialogue among political parties and civil society organizations aimed at devising and reaching a political agreement on the following issues:
a. Security for citizens, a justice system, and a police system, including the establishment of civilian authorities to oversee the police.
b. Consolidation of democracy and of opportunities for participation, including the strengthening of political parties as social institutions.
c. Human rights.
d. Economic and social development.
e. Governance and transparency.
IV. Arrangements for the appointment of the members of the CEP
We agree to the President of the Republic appointing members of the CEP proposed by the following institutions:
· 1 representative of Fanmi Lavalas
· 1 representative of Convergence Démocratique
· 1 representative of the other political parties
· 1 representative of the Conference of Bishops
· 1 representative of reformist sects coordinated by the Protestant Federation of Haiti
· 1 representative of the Episcopal Church
· 1 representative of the Judiciary
· 1 representative of employers' organizations coordinated by the Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIH)
· 1 representative of human rights organizations coordinated by Justice and Peace.
In the event that an organization or sector fails to make a choice by the appointed deadline, the Conference of Bishops, the Protestant Federation of Haiti, the Episcopal Church, the Judiciary, and the coordinator for human rights organizations will jointly fill the gap.
Should a member of the CEP resign or be disqualified or unable to exercise his or her functions, he or she will be replaced by the same body that made the appointment.
As contemplated in Chapter I, each of the members should be respected and trusted by all citizens. Before they are appointed, consultations should be held among the undersigned regarding proposed appointees in order to check that they have the necessary qualifications.
V. Provisions regarding international cooperation
We also agree to asking the Secretary General of the OAS to strive, together with member states and CARICOM, to restore normal relations between Haiti and the international community, including international financial organizations, inasmuch as progress is made in implementing this political agreement, in order to achieve a lasting solution to the crisis triggered by the elections of May 21, 2000 and to help foster the economic and social development of Haiti.
Signed at Port au Prince, on
Fanmi Lavalas Convergence Démocratique
Conference of Bishops
Federation of Protestant Churches of Haiti
Initiative de la Société Civile
Fondation Nouvelle Haiti
Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy
Organization of American States
Dean of the Diplomatic Corps
United States of America
Seen and approved by the Government of Haiti
ELEMENTS OF A COMPROMISE PROPOSAL /
In an effort to achieve a consensual solution to the current political crisis, Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Démocratique will commit to the following:
§ Convergence Démocratique recognizes and accepts the results of the elections of November 26, 2000 (Presidency and one-third of the Senate).
§ Fanmi Lavalas agrees to the holding of new elections for the legislature and the territorial divisions on a date to be decided on by the CEP in January 2003.
A presidential decree (or with the concurrence of both sides, the next elected parliament) will be able to ratify and legitimize all proper acts, work, and tasks performed by the officials who assumed office as a result of the elections of May 21, 2000 (during their terms of office).
This compromise makes the adjective anticipé irrelevant because the question of the validity of the acts of the legislators is no longer at issue.
MANDATE OF THE CEP
The CEP will thus organize elections in January 2003 for the Chamber of Deputies, two-thirds of the Senate, and the territorial divisions. Indirect elections will be held after these elections.
A. Senators and Deputies
Those who became members of the legislature as a result of the elections of May 21, 2000, will remain in office until their successors assume office at a normal interval after the results of the elections are declared.
B. Territorial Divisions
After the signing of the Accord, a number of local officials (determined by consensus between Fanmi Lavalas and Convergence Démocratique) will be removed from office for abusive behavior. Their replacements, recommended by the Commission of Electoral Guarantees (CGE) from among persons of integrity, will be appointed as Executive Agents until the newly elected officials assume office.
The incumbents (except those removed for abusive behavior) will be eligible to remain in their posts until those elected are sworn in.
The CEP, in the exercise of its discretion, will be able to reject anyone it considers unworthy to stand as a candidate in the elections.
A compensation plan might be devised to cover loss of income caused by term reductions.
The rest of the local officials will retain their posts until their successors are sworn in and begin a new term. As provided in the existing proposal by the OAS, however, the Commission of Electoral Guarantees will monitor performance of all local officials in the period leading up to the elections.
"The Commission of Electoral Guarantees will establish decentralized committees at the departmental and communal levels. The committees established at the communal level may attend the deliberations of the municipal councils and the CASECs. They will have access to the documents issued by the local divisions and will have the power to investigate documents and testimony pertaining to the activity of the communes and the CASECs. The committees established at the departmental level will have the power to conduct investigations of public resources and personnel within this district.
"Should cases of fraud or serious irregularities be noted with regard to the Constitution, the electoral law, and the present agreement, these departmental and communal committees will transmit the results of their investigations to the Commission at the national level. The CGE may then ask the Government and the Judiciary to take appropriate measures and, in particular, implement Articles 72 and 73 of the Constitution. The CGE will also transmit the file to the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) and the mission to the OAS in Port-au-Prince."