If you’ve been following the news, you may have heard that the last two weeks in Haiti have been filled with political turmoil. Roads have been blocked and businesses/schools have been closed as there has again been pressure for Haitian President Moïse to step down by his political opposition. The current debate centers on whether President Moïse’s term should end in February of 2021 or 2022.
Why the confusion?
We are hoping this article will give you a quick look at Haiti’s political climate and help you better understand what’s happening in Haiti.
When does President Jovenel Moïse’s current political term end? This seems like a pretty straightforward question, but it’s not quite that simple. The 2015-2016 political elections were quite chaotic and ended in the appointment of a provisional president for one year while the election results were sorted out. The opposition argues that President Moïse’s term began when that of former President Michel Martelly ended in February 2016. Yet Moïse wasn’t officially sworn in until February 2017, following the year that the provisional president served in office, making this question difficult to answer and up for interpretation.
Pictured: President Moïse during his inauguration ceremony in February 2017
President Moïse has agreed to step down in February 2022 when his five-year term ends. This is a decision that has been supported by the US government. The US government also sent a warning to President Moïse about delaying elections and ruling by decree. “The Haitian people deserve the opportunity to elect their leaders and restore Haiti’s democratic institutions.” – NY Times
President Moïse is currently focusing his energy on making changes to the constitution – causing an even greater uproar in some circles due to lack of checks and balances in place in Haiti. “Last January, Moïse began ruling by decree when he dismissed a second-tier of the Senate and the entire Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Haiti’s legislature, after the country failed to hold elections to renew parliament.” – Miami Herald
Haiti now has only 11 elected officials in office to represent its 11 million people. “Opposition parties and civil society groups oppose the constitution change, saying it’s illegal because referendums are forbidden, and contend that it’s impossible to organize legitimate elections under his rule.” – Miami Herald
President Moïse has agreed to hold elections in the fall.
Please pray for Haiti as a country – for righteousness and justice to have victory over corruption and oppression.
Pray for free and fair elections to take place and that the people would have a voice in electing their next president and other political leaders.
Pray for the police officers who work tirelessly to maintain order and keep the streets safe for Haiti’s citizens.
We rest in the fact that God is in control. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21: 1-3