Haiti PM – Update

Recall that in Haiti two prime ministerial nominees have already been rejected since the government of Jacques-Édouard Alexis was dismissed by the Senate in early April. The current nominee is Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis.

As per the constitution, Ms Pierre-Louis has submitted her credentials to the lower house. The Assembly will vote on the prime minister tomorrow. I will report on what happens. President Préval seems to have been lobbying hard to have Ms Pierre-Louis accepted. However, apart from any other issues, her nomination has been hampered by rumours that she is homosexual. Le Nouvelliste is reporting that, even if she is accepted by the Assembly, a number of senators have stated that they will not support her for this reason.

In the meantime, Haiti’s semi-presidential system is coming under attack. For me, it is not a question of semi-presidentialism to blame (and, contrary to what many people probably assume, I am not particularly in favour of semi-presidentialism – I just really like studying it). Instead, in this case, governmental instability seems to be more of a question of a fractionalised party system where there seems to be little party discipline, as well as a constitution that makes the PM responsible to both houses, plus a PM ratification procedure that requires the agreement of not just both houses but also, in effect, of committees in both houses. There are plenty of semi-presidential countries that do not require dual responsibility and plenty where the process of appointing the PM is much simpler. Haiti may be suffering under semi-presidentialism. However, it may not be semi-presidentialism per se that is the problem, but some of the specific procedures that Haiti adopted in its 1987 constitution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *