Haiti's President Jovenel Moise told the UN Security Council on Monday that "democracy was doing well in Haiti" despite its ongoing political crisis, an assertion challenged by the United States, which called on him to quickly put an end to his era of "rule by decree."

Haiti’s president defends record at UN, US slams ‘rule by decree’

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Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise told the UN Security Council on Monday that “democracy was doing well in Haiti” despite its ongoing political crisis, an assertion challenged by the United States, which called on him to quickly put an end to his era of “rule by decree.”

Moise has been ruling by decree for a year because there currently is no parliament, and only a third of its senators are in office. Legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed.

He also maintains that his term lasts until February 2022 — but the opposition argues it should have ended two weeks ago, in a standoff over disputed elections.

During a rare address by a head of state — countries are usually represented by the foreign minister — Moise said that in four years, his country “had had to face down bids to interrupt the constitutional order through violence.

“At the base of all this, there is a rejection of the democratic regime and of elections as the only means of access to the management of the affairs of the state,” he said, lauding his own administration’s “tireless efforts… to appease the sociopolitical climate.”

“We are facing a powerful lobby which has great resources,” he said during a speech that lasted 27 minutes, instead of the 15 normally granted, and that was marred by the sound and image cutting out because of a poor internet connection.

He said this lobby was associated with “sore losers” and has violently blocked the senate’s regular functioning, preventing the government from being formalized and voting on a budget and an electoral law.

The president promised “limited use” of presidential decrees until the next general election scheduled for September, but Washington asked him to stop using them at all, while France said that several of the more recent ones were “a source of concern.”

Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the acting US ambassador to the UN, reiterated “the need to bring the current period of rule by decree to a swift conclusion.”

He said such measures should only be taken when absolutely necessary and in issues such as security and election preparations.

“We urge the government of Haiti to hold overdue legislative elections as soon as possible in order to restore the parliament’s constitutional role,” he said.

“Recent actions unilaterally removing and appointing three supreme court judges, creating a national intelligence agency, and actions constraining the role of Haiti’s independent audit agency risk damaging Haiti’s core democratic institutions,” he added.

The dispute in Haiti stems from Moise’s original election. He was voted into office in a poll subsequently canceled after allegations of fraud, and then elected again a year later, in 2016.

The issue has led to weeks of violent protests on the streets of the poor Caribbean country.

Agence France-Presse

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

Duterte dismisses ex-PH envoy to Brazil Mauro for abusing housemaid

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday announced the dismissal of Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro, who was caught on video maltreating her household service staff.

In his weekly address Monday, Duterte said he approved Mauro’s dismissal from government service “the other day or last night.”

Penalty for the former ambassador, according to him, includes cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification to hold public office, and bar from taking civil service examinations.

“That’s how it is. I said, there are rules to be followed. Kung ayaw mong sundin, you take the risk. If something goes wrong, it’s gonna hit you,” the President said.

Mauro was appointed as Ambassador to Brazil in 2018. She also had jurisdiction over Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.

‘No objections’: Duterte reiterates: Health workers can refuse Sinovac vaccine

By Prince Golez

Health workers have a choice on which coronavirus vaccine to take, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

On Monday, Duterte acknowledged that some doctors were not keen on receiving China’s Sinovac vaccine, which the government rolled out to several hospitals in Metro Manila early today.

“That is their right. They want, maybe, the U.S. (vaccines). It could be AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson’s. It could be Moderna,” the Chief Executive said during his televised address.

“Wala kaming objections diyan. Kung ayaw ninyo maghintay na lang kayo pag dumating ang mga bakuna of your choice and not the ones that are being applied now to the people. We respect your decision on the matter,” he also said.

Duterte earlier expressed preference for Sinopharm, another China-based pharmaceutical company. The drugmaker is yet to receive emergency approval for its vaccine.

Duterte blasts Robredo anew: ‘You seem to have an angel face but a devilish mind’

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte once again lashed out at Vice President Leni Robredo for challenging him to be the first to get inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.

During his weekly national address on Monday, Duterte said Robredo only wanted to be “relevant.”

She was “baiting” him to get the CoronaVac because she suspected he already received the Covid-19 vaccine shot, the Chief Executive claimed.

“You seem to have an angel face but a devilish mind. Marunong ka mag ano. Ang duda mo kasi tapos na ako, kaya you want me to go into a trap of saying things which are not appropriate,” said Duterte.

“Sige ka lang salita diyan, wala ka naman ginagawa. Sige ka isyu-isyu ng statement… because you want to be relevant here. Gusto mo sumali sa laro para mapakinggan ka rin,” he added.



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