….The only impression that Conille left during his short tenure was that he wanted to follow certain normal protocols and govern with as much transparency as he could. Hard-core Haitian politics do not tolerate either of those two principles.
When he was presenting his general politics to members of parliament in October of last year after his ratification, he came across as someone who really wanted to find out why the reconstruction could not take off, and at the same time pledged to execute some of the President’s campaign promises, such as job creation, free primary education and so forth.
In Haiti, no matter who the president is at a specific time, there has always been this unwritten rule that certain things are better left alone. Whether it is the deaths of prominent people or deals gone wild, one simply does not talk of audits or investigations. We had the case of Jean Dominique, a prominent radio journalist, Petrocaribe, Teleco and now these contracts.
It was already mentioned by some members of the parliamentary commission that at least two members of the Conille government had a citizenship other than Haitian. While the President was on a trip at Davos, one of his spokespersons had said that the President demanded the resignation of any member of his government with a citizenship other than Haitian. That was in late January. Up to this time, no one from the Conille cabinet had ever come forward.
The investigation into citizenship continues, but with the exit of the Prime Minister, who will Parliament investigate now? According to the Haitian constitution, with the resignation of the Prime Minister, the whole cabinet is disbanded.
Conille’s departure clears the way for President Martelly to once again try to appoint someone from his inner circle, someone whom he can trust to take charge of the Villa d’Acceuil, the Office of the Prime Minister. Literally, someone who will not waste time trying to audit past deals or go against the President’s personal agenda for the country.
The next Prime Minister will be someone who has been one of the architects of this “Haiti taking off” slogan, and, like the leader, will not bother to tell any of the passengers where they’re heading, because, at the end of the day, the victory will be for the people.
As the President gave a speech to the nation to address the Prime Minister’s resignation, he did not bother to give access to any member of the national press. At this point, it is debatable if that one-minute speech was even live. Not that it matters, but an issue of such national importance should not be treated as if it only concerns the President. After all, this is a republic; ius populi must be respected.
The Haitian people must believe that the country is taking off by trusting their leader because, after all, the leader says so. In the meantime, journalists cannot ask questions that seem to be pertinent to the leader.