June 3, 2001                                                                                                      AG/doc.260/01
San JosÚ, Costa Rica                                                                                                                                                                                                               




Jean Bertrand Aristide




May 31, 2001




Dear Minister Rojas,


            I wish to extend to you and all members of the XXXI General Assembly of the Organization of American States my personal greetings and to submit to you a special message and request of utmost importance. I would like to thank everyone involved in making possible the Joint Organization of American States and Caribbean Community Mission headed by Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria and Dame Eugenia Charles.  My interactions with them throughout this mission have been fruitful and encouraging.


            The current political impasse in Haiti has had the effect of impeding the development of the country and muted my fellow citizens’ hopes for a more prosperous future.  It is my fervent wish that with the assistance of the international community, Haiti will soon emerge from this difficult moment and move forward toward economic and social progress.


            With a view toward an end to the impasse, I wish to outline five elements which I am confident will foster an end to this situation.  I urge the international community to support this initiative as symbol of its solidarity with a burgeoning democracy.


1.                   I am now in a position to inform you that the seven contested Senators have resigned as evidence of their patriotic commitment to ending the electoral controversy surrounding the May 21, 2000 elections.


2.                   I commit to appoint a new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) by June 25, 2001.  This CEP would be composed of nine members nominated by the Executive, Judiciary, political parties -- including the Convergence, Fanmi Lavalas, and other political parties -- and churches, both Catholic and Protestant.


I will uphold the integrity of the new CEP as a functionally independent entity.


                        It should be clear that if any of the above groups fail to nominate its assigned member (s), the undesignated member (s) would be selected from among the other sectors identified above.


3.                   The new CEP will, after appropriate consultations, set the date for elections of the contested seats in the Senate and proceed to organize these elections in a timely manner.  I am convinced that it would be in the country’s best interest if the elections to fill the vacated seats were to occur before the end of the year 2001, and would encourage this result.


4.                   The new CEP would also organize early elections to replace all members of Parliament elected May 21, 2000, in accordance with the government’s proposal outlined at the March 14, 2001, session of the OAS Permanent Council, the terms of the parliamentarians elected on May 21, 2000 would be reduced by two years, in order to regularize the cycle of renewal for the seats in the Haitian Parliament as provided for in the Constitution.  Finally, the CEP would organize complementary elections that are necessary to bring about the establishment of a Permanent Electoral Council.


5.                   To increase confidence in these measures, I seek your support for the establishment of a Special OAS/CARICOM Mission whose mandate would be to facilitate dialogue with civil society and political parties, and to strengthen democratic institutions.  The mission’s functions would include the observation of human rights conditions and support for the proper functioning of the electoral process, including freedom of expression and security for all concerned.


It is my sincere belief that as an integral part of this solution, the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community should undertake to help normalize relations between Haiti and international financial institutions.  The release of much needed international financial assistance would permit Haiti’s economic development, which will in turn strengthen the democratic process.


            On behalf of all Haitians, I urge you to support these five elements and recognize them as a thoughtful and thorough resolution to this impasse.  I look forward to our continued cooperation in bringing about social and economic progress in Haiti.


Kindest regards,  

Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Minister Roberto Rojas L.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship
President of the XXXI General Assembly
  of the Organization of American States
San JosÚ, Costa Rica