by Thomas Peralte (Haiti Liberte)
Three political events took place on May 14, 2012: Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies ratified the policy statement of Prime Minister-designate Laurent Lamothe; Haiti’s 49th Legislature closed its first ordinary session; and President Joseph Michel Martelly marked his first anniversary at Haiti’s helm.
In the Chamber of Deputies, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe presented a giant cabinet composed of 22 ministers. After presenting the list of ministers, deputies began taking turns speaking and asking Lamothe questions. But to avoid ending too late, President of the Lower House Levaillant Louis-Jeune called for a vote, even though many deputies had not yet been able to speak. Louis-Jeune said another session with the Prime Minister would be arranged.
Amidst charges of flagrant vote buying, deputies had accepted Lamothe’s technical qualifications to be Prime Minister on May 3 in a vote of 62 for, three against, and two abstentions. In the May 14 vote on Lamothe’s policy statement, 70 deputies voted in favor, six against, and three abstained out of the 79 deputies attending the session. The vote came after a sudden cut-off of electricity in the room.
Here is the composition of the new cabinet: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor: Ronsard St. Cyr Minister of Agriculture Natural Resources and Rural Development: Thomas Jacques Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cults: Laurent Lamothe
Minister delegated by the Prime Minister as responsible for relations with the Parliament: Ralph Theano
Minister delegated by the Prime Minister for Human Right and the Fight Against Extreme Poverty: Marie Carmelle Rose-Anne Auguste
Minister for Women’s Affairs and Women’s Rights: Yanick Mezil
Minister of Culture: Jean Mario Dupuy
Communications Minister: Ady Jean Gardy
Minister of Education and Training: Reginald Paul
Minister of Economy and Finance: Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie
Minister of the Interior and Local Authorities: Thierry Mayard-Paul
Minister of Justice and Public Security: Jean Renel Sanon
Minister of Public Health and Population: Florence Guillaume Duperval
Minister of Tourism: Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin
Minister of Public Works, Transport, Energy and Communications: Jacques Rousseau
Minister of Planning and External Cooperation: Josepha Raymond
Defense Minister: Jean Rodolphe Joazile
Minister of Trade and Industry: Wilson Laleau
Minister of Youth, Sports and Civic Action: Jean Roosevelt Rene
Environment Minister: Joseph Ronald Toussaint
Minister of Haitians Living Abroad: Daniel Supplice
Minister delegated by the Prime Minister in charge of promoting the
peasantry: Marie Mimose Felix
Before Lamothe presented his policy statement, the Deputies approved by 39 votes to 1 vote against – with13 abstentions – the report of the Special Commission to investigate the irregularities that marred the elections of November 2010 and April 2011 in four districts. The Commission’s report finally recognized the victory of four deputies: Amos Durboirant [Belladere] Jean Bertold Bastien [Carice / Monbien Crochu]; Patrick Domond [Jacmel] and Jean Rigaud Belisaire [Abricot /Bonbon]. They will sit in the lower house at the start of the legislative year’s second session beginning Mon, Jun. 11, 2012.
On May 14, President Martelly attended two ceremonies, one on the Champ de Mars and the other at the Gymnasium Vincent. Meanwhile, Haiti’s deputies and senators jointly met as the National Assembly to close the year’s first legislative session.
Laurent Lamothe and his ministers will be sworn in on May 16, 2012.