BELIZAIRE CASE: THE COUNTERATTACK OF PARLIAMENT
(Haiti Libre) -
Both rooms were in session, until late Friday evening in response to the arrest the day before of deputy Arnel Bélizaire, in order to determine measures to be taken in response to the arrest of Deputy Bélizaire deemed as being illegal. The senators believe that the arrest of Bélizaire by police officers, by order of the prosecutor, "threatens the democratic foundation of the nation, while trampling the dignity of the legislature."
Both chambers, ... have adopted resolutions. The lower house passed a resolution asking for explanations and calling for the resignation of Ministers Josué Pierre-Louis, Minister of Justice and Public Security, Mr. Thierry Mayard Paul, Minister of Interior and National Defense, Michel Brunache, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs [who would be involved in the blocking of access for the deputies to the diplomatic lounge of the International Airport] and of Mr. Félix Léger Commissioner of the Government; all considered as directly responsible of the arrest of the Deputy Arnel Bélizaire .... 71 parliamentarians have signed the resolutions a few hours after Deputy Bélizaire, was taken back to the Lower House by the prison administration.
Deputy Abel Descolines explained, "It's first a draft resolution, it is not really a resolution to the extent that the Chamber of Deputies is in extraordinary session so we are not able to organize a session, but given the urgency and the complexity of the situation after the arrest of our colleague Arnel Bélizaire, [...] there is a special session which grouped the majority of deputies of the 49th Legislature.
At the end of the debates that lasted several hours, it was agreed that we adopt a draft resolution to denounce the illegal arrest of deputy [Bélizaire] to the extent that the procedures of the Constitution were not complied with[...] this draft resolution will be finalized within 24 hours [...] it's primarily a formal and official denunciation of the Deputies of the 49th Legislature of the arrest, which did not follow the procedures of the Constitution; of a Deputy in the exercise of his functions, to the extent that the procedure which should, eventually have led to the waiver of parliamentary immunity was not made [...] in this draft resolution, it is a question for a set of Ministers to give explanations about what happened [...] at the end of this explanation, the entire legislative body or a majority, will decide the ... follow up the to questions that can lead to an interpellation [of the people involved] [...]"
If these ministers and Secretary of State do not leave their posts, they will be interpellated at the opening of Parliament in January 2012 and will be subject to a vote of censorship or of no confidence, according to the Constitution [they risk destitution]. Regarding this possibility, the deputy Abel Descolines declared "we're not there yet [...] It is a draft resolution. Currently the Assembly has as its' concern to give a political response to what the 49th Legislature considers as an affront [...] we do not anticipate we will finalize the resolution within 24 hours"
Deputy Guy Gérard Georges stated "... the resolution requests that the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Interior, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, s not the Foreign Minister, because he was not there [...] that they resign [...] and if they do not resign, when we will enter the second Monday of January in regular session, we will take the legal steps that the Constitution gives us to let go these Ministers; if they have not resigned voluntarily [...]"
For its part, the Senate, in a resolution signed by 16 senators decided to interpellate Josué Pierre-Louis, Minister of Justice and Michel Brunache, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on 3 November. Mr. Michel Brunach is interpellated on the fact that parliamentarians were denied access to the diplomatic lounge of the airport Toussaint Louverture, during the operation that led to the arrest of the deputy.
Josué Pierre-Louis, the Minister of Justice and Public Security, said Friday, before the press as not having made an intervention to the Commissioner of the Government and denied any involvement in the arrest of Deputy Bélizaire, saying that it was in no case an order of the Ministry of Justice. "There are several authorities who spoke on the issue. What I can say, is that the conduct of state affairs requires cool and calm [...] the law prohibits a Minister of Justice to give individual instructions as part of a file which is treated by the justice. Of course, the Government Commissioner is the representative of the executive within the judiciary, but the representative of the executive. It's within the framework of the implementation of penal policy of the government, but not in the exercise of the public service [...] I can ask the Government Commissioner to put a public action in motion, if there is public outcry, if there is "fragrance", but I can not call the Government Commissioner to prohibit him from putting a public action in motion. Yesterday I received a letter at 1:00 pm, from the office of the Chamber of Deputies. Immediately I contacted the Government Commissioner to ask him to explain to me the law, ... if the facts are constituted, .... if the facts are based, ... if the procedure meets the legal requirements..."
The first reaction of the Parliament confirms the deterioration of relations with the Executive and the opening of hostilities with all legal means provided by the Constitution.