FRAMER OF 1987 CONSTITUTION OPPOSES PUBLICATION OF CORRECTED CONSTITUTION
(Defend Haiti) - By Samuel Maxime
PORT-AU-PRINCE - Dr. Georges Michel, a member of the commission that framed the Constitution of Haiti of 1987 and sits on the commission to reinstate the Haitian army, is opposed to the publication of the Constitution of Haiti 2011 by President Michel Martelly.
Dr. Michel is protesting saying that fraud took place in the process initiated by the 48th Legislature, because the text is not identical between both the 48th and 49th Legislature. This claim by Dr. Michel is arguable as the Constitution TITLE XIII makes no reference to such a circumstance. Furthermore, Parliamentarians argued the fact in April of 2011.
Dr. Michel also says that the amended version published in Le Moniteur on May 13th by former President Rene Preval did not include an amendment to the Creole version of the Constitution of 1987. The President of the Senate argues that the Creole version was not voted on in 1987, but merely translated and published as an appendage, and therefore did not require a vote in 2011.
Dr. Michel also argues that for the presidency of Michel Martelly, it would mean that two Constitutions were enforced. Dr. Michel neglects the fact that the Constitution of 2011 came into effect on May 14th 2011 as President Michel Martelly was being inaugurated and has been in effect since. The president's role at this juncture is merely a formality of ensuring the document is correct in the nation's journal, Le Moniteur.
Among other articles, Dr. Michel disagrees with the changes made to ARTICLE 149 of the Constitution regarding the incapacitation of the President of the Republic. Dr. Michel would have had to argue this point in May when elected representatives of the legislature resolved to change the article.
According to the former member of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Georges Michel, the publication of the amendment should be stopped and discarded in the trash. Dr. Michel fails to understand that President Michel Martelly is not "amending the constitution". This event took place on May 9th of 2011.
The presidents of both houses of the Haitian Parliament, as well as the secretaries of both houses, have signed on the Constitution of 2011 which was corrected with the assistance of members from the civil society and human rights organizations. The document has been sent to the National Palace and is awaiting publication by President Michel Martelly.
In the interest of full disclosure, Samuel Maxime, lives in the United States but was born in Haiti and does not hold citizenship in any other country but Haiti.
Constitution of Haiti
Amendments to the Constitution
On the recommendation, with reasons given to support it, of one of the two (2) Houses or of the Executive Branch, the Legislature may declare that the Constitution should be amended.
This declaration must be supported by two-thirds (2/3) of each of the two (2) Houses. It may made only in the course of the last Regular Session of the Legislative period and shall be published immediately throughout the territory.
At the first session of the following legislature period, the Houses shall meet in a National Assembly and decide on the proposed amendment.
The National Assembly may not sit or deliberate on the amendment unless at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members of each of the two (2) Houses are present.
No decision of the National Assembly may be taken without a majority of two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast.
The amendment passed may enter into effect only after installation of the next elected President. In no case may the President under the Government that approved the amendment benefit from any advantages deriving therefrom.
General elections to amend the Constitution by referendum are strictly forbidden.
No amendment to the Constitution may effect the democratic and republican nature of the State.