As Huge Demonstrations Call for President’s Resignation: Proposal for a Post-Martelly Transitional Government Comes to the Fore

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)
Huge demonstrations calling for
President Michel Martelly to step down are growing in size, scope, and
frequency. On Nov. 7, a march of many thousands, called by the Patriotic Force
for Respect of the 1987 Constitution (FOPARC), marched up the Delmas Road from
La Saline and burst through the barricades which Haitian police had erected to
prevent the crowd from marching through the tony streets of Pétionville.
proved today that we don’t need a visa, we don’t need a passport, to go to
Pétionville,” said demonstrator and journalist Wendel Polynice after the
symbolically powerful victory.
demonstrators then marched back down to Port-au-Prince along the Bourdon Road.
When they reached the central Champ de Mars, police dispersed them with teargas
and shots in the air.
slogan of the Nov. 7 march was: “Dessalines is paying a visit to Pétion.”
Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a former slave, led the masses of former slaves into
an alliance with Alexandre Pétion, who headed the forces of St. Domingue’s
largely mulatto affranchis or
propertied freedmen. This alliance was what allowed the “indigenous army” to
defeat the French legions of Napoleon in a decisive battle at Vertières, near
Cap Haïtien, on Nov. 18, 1803, paving the way for Haiti’s Jan. 1, 1804
declaration of independence.
the 210th anniversary of Vertières, Haiti’s most nationalist holiday,
another huge demonstration filled the streets of the capital. Estimates ranged
from 10,000 to 50,000. The principal calls were “Down with Martelly” and “Down
with MINUSTAH,” the acronym for the 9,000 soldier occupation force known as the
UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti.
Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe traveled to Cap Haïtien where they
spoke to a largely bussed in and paid crowd after police aggressively broke up
the anti-Martelly demonstrations that had been planned.
anti-MINUSTAH demonstrations were held on Nov. 18 in other Haitian cities
including Aux Cayes, Jacmel, Miragoâne and Petit Goâve.
were some 1.7 million people marching in the streets of Haiti today,” said Sen.
Moïse Jean-Charles, one of Martelly’s most outspoken critics, surrounded by a
throng of demonstrators in the Nov. 18 march in Port-au-Prince. “And there were
only 700,000 who supposedly voted for Martelly” in the illegal and
controversial Mar. 20, 2011 presidential run-off election.
is clear that Martelly does not have the legitimacy or the credibility to lead
the country,” Sen. Jean-Charles continued. “We are asking the Americans,
French, and Canadians to come an collect their errand boy because he cannot
lead the country any more.”
next major demonstration in the capital is planned for Nov. 29, the 26th
anniversary of the 1987 election massacre carried out by a neo-Duvalierist
military junta. For that day, Moïse called on Haitians to “prepare your chairs,
your gallons of water, and your sleeping mats” because “we are going to set up
our headquarters across from the U.S. Embassy.”
Haitian radio shows, there is increasing discussion of what would follow
Martelly’s resignation. However, the first proposal for a transitional government
was made during a Sep. 29 Popular
of grassroots organizations, where the keynote speaker was Sen.
Jean-Charles, held at the Fany Villa in Port-au-Prince, the only such large
public meeting to take up the matter to date. The proposal was drafted by the
Dessalines Coordination (KOD), a new influential political formation made up of
militants who have distinguished themselves over the past 25 years of Haiti’s
struggle for democracy.
previous weeks, Haïti Liberté has
published in Kreyòl and French the proposal, which was adapted and then adopted
by the participating popular organization on Oct. 7. In light of the growing
prospects of Martelly’s resignation, we present the KOD’s proposal in English
Popular Forum, September 29, 2013, Port-au-Prince
The Proposal of the Dessalines Coordination (KOD) for a Provisional
The government of President
Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe was never legal because the
Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), the final arbiter of any Haitian election,
said that it was Mirlande Manigat and Jude Celestin who should have gone into a
run-off election. It was Washington, the Organization of American States (OAS),
and the occupation force known as the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH),
as represented then by Edmond Mulet, which then gave Haiti orders as to how to
do its election and who should be in it. They imposed a Mar. 20, 2011 run-off
between Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly. This Martelly regime, which came
to power through a bogus election, doesn’t have any legitimacy in the eyes of
the majority of the Haitian people.
Hillary and Bill Clinton put Martelly in power, the people have been squeezed,
as if through the eye of a needle, by all kinds of tribulations. The first
illegal act of Martelly was to brazenly take money without Parliament’s assent
on all the international money transfers and telephone calls that Haitians overseas
make to their families back home.
top of that, Martelly has flexed his ill-gained authority with intimidation,
violence, and repression, as on Oct. 22, 2011 when he threatened a neighbor in
an effort to take his home. On Oct. 26, 2011, he arrested a sitting deputy with
immunity. On Feb. 17, 2012, Martelly led a band of thugs from the airport
through the streets of Port-au-Prince to the University’s Ethnology School,
where they physically attacked and fired on students.
a bunch of fake projects, inflated travel per diems, and other “legal
banditry,” Martelly has stolen state funds. But that’s not all. The Dominican
journalist Nuria Piera revealed a lot of documents which clearly showed that
Martelly during 2011 took $2.6 million in bribes from Dominican Senator Felix
are a lot of drug-dealers in this government. We haven’t forgotten the
testimony of Sherlson Sanon who charged Senators Edo Zenny and Joseph Lambert,
both close Martelly aides, with involvement in drug-running, killings, and
other criminal acts. Until now, the leader of a kidnapping ring, Clifford
Brandt, has never gone to trial since his arrest a year ago, and both
Martelly’s son Olivier and one of his security officers have been accused of
being part of the ring.
against journalists are too many to even count. The latest was the attack Judge
Lamarre Belizaire made against Radio Kiskeya.
the biggest government crime is the death of Judge Jean Serge Joseph. Martelly,
Lamothe, and Justice Minister Jean Renel Sanon met with the judge on Thursday
Jul. 11, 2013 in the offices of lawyer and Martelly legal advisor Garry
Lissade. Two days later, the judge died, either from the tension caused by the
threats they made against him or by poison they gave him. But what is even
worse, they all lied to the nation, completely straight-faced, as if they
didn’t even know the judge much less meet with him.
is why two Special Parliamentary Commissions, after in-depth investigations,
issued official reports calling for Martelly, Lamothe, and Sanon to be
indicted. Thirteen deputies signed a call for an impeachment indictment against
Martelly. But, everyone knows that President Martelly has bought a majority
among the deputies with the money he has stolen from the public treasury not to
mention from the PetroCaribe fund. Thus he has blocked the deputies from
indicting him, which would allow the Senate to judge him and his acolytes.
the legal road to unseat Martelly via the Parliament is blocked. The only way
which remains is for popular power to exert its will because we cannot take it
anymore. Enough is enough!
took power illegally. Unfortunately, he promulgated the amendments to the 1987
Constitution, thus the amendments cannot be valid. For us, all decisions to be
taken to bring a change for the better in the country, without confusion,
should be done on the basis of the 1987 Constitution.
organizations today want to take up their historic responsibility to engage in
a fight against this illegal power which doesn’t have any legitimacy but
continues to everything it can to soil Haiti’s face in the interests of the
imperialist countries.
is Washington, the OAS, and the UN occupation which have put us in the
situation we are today. The government doesn’t have the capacity to deliver
anything to improve the life of he people, and that is why we popular
organizations, who are gathered today at Fany Villa, have decided to bring a
Our Proposal
We in the Dessalines Coordination propose that all national sectors join
together to form a “Council of State” to
lead the country forward. We are not proposing a coup d’état or a kidnapping.
We don’t have guns in our hands to fire on anybody. We aren’t here for that,
that is not our practice. We are Haiti’s children. If the nation’s life is in
danger, if the nation is stuck, about to die, it is us, her children, who
should bring the remedy, the solution.
every sector will be able to participate in this work of unity. What makes the
nation work are different forces: peasants, students, women, youth, unions,
political parties, civil society, religious sectors, and so on.
propose that leadership of state be taken over by a Supreme Court Judge with a
Council of State of 13 members, which would have representatives of:
1) peasant organizations
2) popular organizations
3) political parties
4) womens’ organizations
5) unions
6) business owners
7) Vodou practitioners
8) Protestants
9) Catholics
10) students
11) youth
12) civil society
13) non-aligned parties
All parliamentarians, that is
the deputies and two-thirds of the Senate, would remain in their posts until
their mandate finishes in January 2015. They would continue to do their job in
Parliament. The Council of State would have the right to convoke them in
extraordinary session if necessary, the same way the President does.
we see this road is blocked for the moment, we propose that we continue to put
pressure on the deputies, above all the pro-Martelly PSP deputies, to make them
pass the impeachment indictment just as two commissions, 13 deputies, and the
Senate as well has asked, in the latest vote it took on Sep. 26. It would be
ideal for the PSP deputies to stop avoiding the issue and take responsibility
before history to vote on the parliamentary reports and the indictment, just as
the Senate has.
The Role of the Council of State
The Council of State will sit with a Supreme Court Judge to find a democratic formula for them to name a
government, that is a Prime Minister and the ministers under him.
government would put in place a democratic
Provisional Electoral Council
which would have the task of holding a
general election for all empty posts in a not less than six months.
there was a vacancy on the Council of State, that is, if a person left or died
before the Council finished its work, the sector affected could always appoint
a new representative.
shouldn’t accept money for the elections from any foreign government or
international institution which sets conditions. Any country which chooses for
whatever reason to give their solidarity to the Haitian people, we won’t refuse
them, but they can’t meddle in Haiti’s internal affairs. They can give their
support, but without conditions.
MINUSTAH would not have any
right to meddle in this process, even if it hadn’t yet had time to get all its
troops out of Haiti. The last MINUSTAH soldier should not remain in Haiti any
later than May 2014, as the latest unanimous Senate resolution has demanded.
The Martelly Administration
together with other international institutions, above all the embassies of
imperialist countries like the U.S., France, and Canada, will say that what we
propose is not legal, not receivable.
Haitian people have to stand up to defend what they have given birth to. When
the imperialist countries make a coup d’état or an illegal election, even if
the people reject it, they never take that into account. Now they must allow
the Haitian people to take their destiny in hand.
we propose is more democratic, more authentic, more honest, and more sovereign
than all the machinations which the imperialists have carried out in Haiti. It
is time for the Haitian people to stop taking orders from the colonists and to
construct our own democracy, because we are a nation, not a colony, and we are
our own masters.
Thomas Sankara said: “Let us dare to invent the future!”
the organizations who took part in the Popular Forum agree with KOD’s proposal
and resolve to:
1) Not go into elections with
Martelly and his clique in power.
2) Strengthen the mobilization
against Martelly and the UN occupation force MINUSTAH.
3) Prevent from returning to
their districts all PSP deputies who won’t vote for the indictment against Martelly,
Lamothe, and Sanon.
4) Continue working with all
organizations to reinforce their capacity for reflection and action.
5) Set up a follow-on committee
with all the organizations which participated in the Forum to continue planning
for solutions to our national problems.
Port-au-Prince, October 7, 2013
Oganizasyon Tèt Ansanm nan Nip
Rasanbleman Popilè pou Chanjman
Oganizasyon Jèn Aktif pou
Devlopman (OJAD)
Mouvman Revolisyonè pou
Devlopman Nòdwès (MRDNO)
Oganizasyon Jèn Patriyotik pou Devlopman
Baradè (OJPB)
OPDMK Nòdwès
AFBPP   Nòdès
Mouvman pou Libète, Egalite ak
Fratènite tout Ayisyen (MOLEGHAF)
Tèt Kole Oganizasyon Popilè yo
Platfòm Nasyonal Popilè
Thousands marched through Port-au-Prince on Nov. 18 demanding that
President Martelly step down.
Credit: Wendel Polynice/Haiti Liberté
Workshops discuss KOD’s proposal for a provisional government at a Sep.
29 Popular Forum in Port-au-Prince.
Credit: Kim Ives/Haiti Liberté