Haitian president lays out terms for deal with opposition

AP, By Michael Weisssenstein. February 8, 2020

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — President Jovenel Moise said Friday that he is optimistic that negotiations with a coalition of his political opponents will succeed in forging a power-sharing deal to end months of deadlock that have left Haiti without a functioning government.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Moise laid out his bargaining position in the talks that began last week in the mission of the papal envoy to Haiti with political opponents and some civil society groups. He said he would accept an opposition prime minister and a shortened term in office, but only after adoption of a constitutional reform strengthening the presidency.

Moise said his efforts to improve living conditions for Haiti’s 11 million people had been thwarted during his first three years in office by the constitutional requirement that the National Assembly must approve virtually all significant presidential actions.

He said he would serve only a single term in office so he would not personally benefit from the powers of a stronger presidency.

“It makes me optimistic to see my brothers and sisters from the political opposition, civil society and religious groups,” he said. “I think we’re at a crossroads.”

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