Press Release

IACHR Deeply Concerned over Inaction to Avoid Institutional Vacuum in Haiti*

June 22, 2016 / REVISED July 7, 2016

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María Isabel Rivero
IACHR Press and Communication Office
Tel: +1 (202) 370-9001

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Washington, D.C.— The IACHR is deeply worried about a situation of institutional vacuum in Haiti due to the lack of measures to safeguard institutional stability following the expiration the 120-days provisional presidential term granted to Jocelerme Privert under an agreement signed on February 5, 2016. The IACHR is concerned over the impact that this situation could have on the rule of law.

On June 15, the National Assembly informed the public about the expiration of the period set in the February accord.  In an official statement, the Assembly announced that, as co-custodian of the country’s sovereignty and mindful of its responsibilities, it was committed to working with other areas of government to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. However, no steps were taken to avert the institutional vacuum.

In addition, claiming fraud, the Provisional Electoral Council decided on June 9 to void the results of the presidential election and to call fresh elections, the first round of which is scheduled for October 9, 2016, with a run-off to be held on January 8, 2017.

The Commission is concerned about the absence of measures to ensure the continuity of executive functions, and recalls that the peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it.  The effective exercise of representative democracy is the basis of the rule of law and of the constitutional regimes of the member states of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The Commission has previously stated its concern about the weakness of state institutions in Haiti and considers that the current lack of institutional continuity weakens the effective exercise of human rights, particularly the right to participate in government recognized in Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights.  The Commission calls on the National Assembly to take urgent steps to ensure the balance of powers, respect for the rule of law, and democratic continuity in Haiti.

A principal, autonomous body of the OAS, the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.


This press release was revised and modified on July 7, 2016

No. 084/16