PORT-AU-PRINCE: Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has resigned less than a week after President Michel Martelly received a report from a presidential commission established to help deal with Haiti’s worsening political crisis.
“I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment,” said Lamothe in a nationwide radio and television broadcast last Saturday night.
Opposition figures have led several violent street demonstrations in recent weeks. The protestors have been calling for the resignation of both Martelly and Lamothe after the country failed to hold elections in October.
Last month, Martelly announced the establishment of the 11-member presidential commission. He had been holding talks with several social and political groups in a bid to hold the long-delayed election to renew two thirds of the 30-member Senate, the entire Lower Chamber and hundreds of local government bodies. Out of the 30 senate members, 20 remain in office and amendments to an existing electoral law are required to facilitate the vote.
However, six opposition legislators have consistently refused to attend the meetings of the Senate, preventing the body from getting the required 16-member quorum needed to hold a session. By January 12, 2015, the Haitian parliament will become dysfunctional with only 10 senators left.
In the report, the commission said a truce by the opposition is needed to achieve a political agreement for the country’s local and legislative elections to occur.
“The deterioration of the political and social environment requires several calming measures and recovery before Christmas. It is therefore imperative to find a political compromise before January, 12,” according to the report which called on the public and opposition parties to do their part, including ending calls for Martelly’s resignation.
“Respect the constitutional legitimacy of the President of the Republic,” it said.
In response to the report, Martelly said he had accepted the commission’s findings.