Washington (October 15,
2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Frederica S.
Wilson (FL-24), along with 24 Senate and House colleagues, today wrote to
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the State Department to support free and
fair elections in Haiti and to stop State Department officials from making
public statements that appear to push for elections outside of Haiti’s
Haitian President Jovenel
Moïse has been ruling by decree since January of this year, when the terms of
most members of Parliament expired without passage of an electoral law
necessary for holding legislative elections. This summer, the nine
members of the provisional electoral council resigned, citing the need for the
government to engage in a real dialogue before proceeding with elections.
President Moïse proceeded to appoint a new provisional electoral council by
decree, and did not include key representatives from Haitian civil society,
which is an established precedent and required by the Haitian constitution.
“While it is imperative
that we support a return to full democratic order in Haiti, U.S. policy should
not push for hasty elections that may further destabilize that nation’s fragile
political system,” write the lawmakers in their letter.
“The State Department should recognize Haitian civil society’s necessary role
and legitimate concerns related to the lack of an inclusive dialogue,
unconstitutional appointments to the electoral council, and government
intimidation of civil society actors. These actions are imperative to ensure
that the electoral process in Haiti is widely perceived as legitimate so
democracy in Haiti can thrive.”
A copy of the letter can
be found HERE
Joining Senator Markey
and Representative Wilson on the letter are Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass),
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representatives Andy Levin
(MI-09), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), James P. McGovern
(MA-02), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Joaquin Castro
(TX-20), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D- DC), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Adriano Espaillat
(NY-13), Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-13), Stacey E.
Plaskett (D-USVI), Al Lawson (FL-05), André Carson (IN-07), Bobby L. Rush
(IL-01), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18),
Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Val Demings (FL-10), and Alcee Hastings (FL-20).