Miami Herald, by Jacqueline Charles, October 27, 2020
If Haitian President Jovenel Moïse thought his good relations with Washington would allow him to achieve what all Haitian presidents have wanted— to delay elections and change the country’s constitution to his liking— the Trump administration begs to differ.
Moïse, in a surprise announcement last Friday, told Haitians that elections would take place only after they have had a chance to vote on a new constitution through a referendum. He did not say when such a vote would happen, or more importantly, who would draft this new constitution.
But a U.S. State Department spokesperson said the U.S. is expecting elections in Haiti no later than January to renew the entire Lower Chamber of Deputies, two-thirds of the 30-member Senate and all local offices, including mayors. The dismissal of Parliament in early January 2020 has left Moïse ruling by decree and the end of mayoral terms this past July, means that he’s now one of just 11 elected officials in the country of 11 million residents. The other elected officials are the remaining 10 senators who are in effect powerless and can’t even garner a quorum to assemble.