PM Fritz Jean’s new “consensus” government

Fritz Alphonse Jean 2.jpg

by Yves Pierre-Louis, Haiti Liberté, March 9, 2016

About three weeks after the installation of former Sen. Jocelerme Privert as interim president in the National Palace on Feb. 14 and a week after the appointment of the former governor of the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH), Fritz Alphonse Jean, as prime minister, the names of the cabinet ministers of Jean’s consensus government were made public on Mon., Mar. 7, 2016. The cabinet, which under Martelly numbered 20 ministers, has now been reduced to 15.

The Cabinet:

Fritz Alphonse Jean, Prime Minister. He will also act as Minister of the Interior, Local Authorities, and National Defense. This latter post had been reserved, it is said, for Sen. Anick François Joseph, an OPL dissident.

Ericq Pierre, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Worship, and Haitians Living Abroad. He represented Haiti at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He was twice nominated by former President René Préval to be Prime Minister but failed to win Parliament’s ratification.

Yves Romain Bastien, Minister of Economy and Finance. He was coordinator of the Council for Public Enterprise Modernization (CMEP). This council has overseen the privatization of state enterprises including the Society of Telecommunications or Teleco, and the National Port Authority (APN). These public companies were sold to multinational companies like Vietnam’s Vietel or to Haitian bourgeois families like the families Baussan, Coles, and Braun. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been thrown out of work since the kidnapping-coup of Feb. 29, 2004. They were all victims of the neoliberal policies implemented by Bastien. He will likely continue the neoliberal policies which hurt Haitian workers and the Haitian people.

Enex Jean-Charles, Minister of Planning and External Cooperation. He was the secretary-general for the Prime Minister in several governments.

Florence Elie, Minister of Justice and Public Security. She is currently the head of the Office of Citizens Protection (OPC), an independent public institution created by the 1987 Constitution. She has been at OPC since under the administration of René Preval (2006-2011). She is also a long-time human rights activist.

Simon Dieuseul Desras, Environment Minister. He is a former senator and President of the Senate. He was a presidential candidate in the latest 2015 elections. 

Marc Aurel Garcia aka Marcus Garcia, Minister of Culture and Communication. He is a journalist, director of the newspaper Haiti en Marche and Radio Mélodie.

Marie Denise Claude, Minister of Women and Women's Rights. She is a former Senate candidate for the West department.

Arnoux Severin, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development.

Daphnée Benoit Delsoin, Minister of Public Health and Population. She is also interim Minister of Education, Youth, Sports, and Civic Action.

Jacques Evelt Eveillard, Minister of Public Works, Transport, and 
Communication.

Jean René Antoine Nicolas, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor.

Jessy C. Petit-Frère, Minister of Trade and Industry.

Didier Hyppolite, Minister of Tourism. 

 

This ministerial cabinet is waiting for its appointment by presidential decree. The Prime Minister himself is still waiting for Parliament to ratify his policy statement at a time when the Haitian people face the problems of growing insecurity, a daily increase in the cost of living and food scarcity, and severe flooding across the country. Meanwhile, the state coffers have been emptied by the previous government of President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Evans Paul.

Despite a debt estimated at over $2 billion, the Martelly/Paul government did not pay its bills to Venezuela’s PetroCaribe, which provides all of Haiti’s oil, for over eight months. From July 2015 to February 2016, PetroCaribe payment arrears amount to over $91 million, while there are $66 million in the fund of the Office of Monetization of Development Aid Programs (BMPAD), according to available information.

While waiting for the installation of a new government, Haitians are still awaiting the formation of a new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and of the Independent Commission of Inquiry to shed light on what happened in the elections of Aug. 9 and Oct. 25, 2015.

 

Posted March 10, 2016