- PHTK, Gregory Mayard-Paul, disclaim memo
- Journalists stand by memo received from individuals within the party who requested anonymity
- Most are convinced that the memo is authentic despite the party's disclaimers
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Days after news broke of an internal memo detailing with great specificity, among other things, conspiracies to defraud the state, in order to keep the ruling political party of Haiti President Michel Martelly in power, the National Palace responded and disclaimed its authenticity.
National Palace Counsel, Gregory Mayard-Paul, spoke out during an interview with pro-government commentator, Garry Pierre Paul Charles, during his early afternoon talk show, Haïti Debat, on Scoop 107.7 FM, on Friday.
The long-time attorney of the Martelly administration never gave a clear and unequivocal denial of the document’s authenticity. When asked by Charles, during a rapid back-and-forth, whether “it is possible that someone from PHTK could have written the memo”, Mayard-Paul responded “anything is possible.”
The defense for the Haitian Tèt Kale Party (PHTK) is clinging to the fact that the two-page document, requiring a dozen urgent actions to salvage the presidential campaign of its candidate for president, Jovenel Moïse, did not have a hand-written signature.
The memo was signed, none the less, by “The Strategic Bureau for Jovenel Moïse” and was addressed to the party’s leader, President Michel Martelly, and carbon-copied to high-ranking officials within the party and administration.
Beyond not having a hand-written signature, the defense’s argument consisted of overused, some unfounded, political talking points. Mayard-Paul alleges of “laboratory” that has as its aim to sully the image of Michel Martelly and his hopeful successor, Jovenel Moïse.
Mayard-Paul said that work of the Martelly administration, removing people from under the tents on Champs des Mars, renovating the international airport and the progress of the past five years, would be the motivation of political opponents.
It is important that The Sentinel clarifies that Canada removed people from under tents on Champs des Mars, the international airport began renovations under the previous administration and in the past five years, Haiti has seen the most precipitous decline in the value of its currency, amounted the largest debt in two centuries and seen a democracy of 5,000 elected persons degrade to a totalitarian government ruled by one man and by decree.
Many Believe Memo Authentic
Following the Friday interview on Scoop FM, the PHTK political party released a note denying the memo. The memo spread like wildfire on Tuesday after first being read on Train Matinal by Zenith FM Journalist, Denel Saintan, who has since stood by his source.
Even the pro-government commentator Garry Pierre Paul Charles said he believe the memo was real before his interview with Mayard-Paul. He believed it showed a division within the PHTK camp.
More balanced political commentator, Jean Monard Metellus, who hosts Intersection on Radio Television Caraibes during the week said, while not having proof, he believed the document was authentic.
The memo is dated September 14, 2015 amid an embarrassing campaign roll out by the PHTK candidate, Jovenel Moise, in his home town of Cap-Haitien. The candidate secured a stadium capable of holding 25,000 in Haiti’s second largest city but only managed to draw a couple hundred.
The document requests 12 “non-negotiable” measures of President Michel Martelly who was not at the campaign’s roll out. These measures, according to the memo, are what is needed for the candidate to win in the first round of presidential elections, schedule for October 25, 2015, but opposed by the majority of political parties for having been led up to by a corrupt process.
The memo described figures, numbers, and individuals in great detail. It called for the application of measures desired by the Economic Forum on Dominican products in order to obtain nearly $2 million in campaign finance. It suggests that a ban on 23 products from the bordering country, put into effect two days after the memo, on September 16, would be the decision referred to.
The memo called for the dismissal of Agriculture Minister Fresner Dorcin, for having given funding to an opposing candidate in the race for their project. On September 18, it was announced that Minister Dorcin had resigned.
The memo called for a large number of state institutions to place aside real money and resources towards the ends of Jovenel Moïse’s campaign and that political parties aligned to PHTK coalesce behind the presidential candidate.