JEREMIE, Grand’Anse, HT (sentinel.ht) – Members of the Economic Forum of the Private Sector, an organization promoting the growth of small and medium-sized businesses, met with President Jocelerme Privert and members of his administration at his private residence on Sunday to discuss some of Haiti’s pressing issues, including security ahead of the finalization of election results.
The Forum recognized that the November 20 elections passed with calms but expressed concerns for calls for violence and unrest from certain parties with the looming release of final election results. Protests concentrated in Port-au-Prince have been frequent since the release of preliminary results. But a number have turned violent, causing the destruction of property and vandalism. Demonstrators have continued to threaten violence, including exhibitions of discontent in front of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) headquarters and other places of concern.
President Privert condemned the violent rhetoric germinating out of certain sectors of the political class and said he had since instructed law enforcement and justice officials to take all appropriate measures to prevent disturbances of the public order.
In the presence of Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles, Justice Minister Camille Édouard Jr., and Chief of Staff Jean Max Bellerive, who were present at the meeting, Privert told the pro-business group that “a massive and visible police presence in the main arteries for the end-of-year and new year celebrations”, would be present. This should coincide with the announcement of the final results, expected, barring delay, on December 29.
Forum members were also of the Head of State to pool their support. “The President asked the Economic Forum to join forces with other sectors of civil society such as churches, ISC and others to encourage the CEP to be confined within the parameters of the electoral decree. He also said that December 29 was an obligation to arrive at February 7. This is what we started to do,” said Georges Sassine, president of ADIH who also attended the meeting.
“We came out of the meeting with the feeling that we are on the same wavelength with the executive, namely that the electoral process that arrived where it is must come to fruition. Haiti needs the process to succeed. We have to put all that we have in the balance so that the process succeeds.” He added, “President Privert said he was very pleased to see, with ADIH’s note, the Economic Forum and Boisson’s speech last night at the Amcham cocktail at the US Ambassador’s that we are becoming more and more involved.”
“President Privert has opened a parenthesis to say that during this time emergency aid is more than existing and that we must begin to fear the appearance of famine in the great south. It is a challenge for the country. We can not waste time throwing stones in the streets of Port-au-Prince when people are at risk of dying of starvation. He said that the government was in control of the situation and that from now on they Put in place a new security plan until February 7,” said Georges Sassine, who stressed that for everyone,” as long as the demonstrations are peaceful, there is no problem.”
However, the private sector has a problem. He is concerned: “There are concerns about direct threats from prominent members of the private sector, including Mr. Apaid, Mr. Boulos and Mr. Abdalah. Haiti is a country where most of the time the threats are executed,” explained Georges Sassine, who said that “the president said he was taking all necessary measures.”
The presidency, in a statement, said that a meeting was “conducted at the request of the Forum to discuss the political, economic and social situation of the country”. The meeting provided the opportunity to “congratulate the government for its remarkable macroeconomic management in spite of a difficult economic environment and unforeseen obstacles such as the devastating hurricane Matthew and the financing with the Treasury’s funds from the elections”, according to a National Palace statement.
The vision of the Economic Forum of the Private Sector includes a broadening of the middle class, which will result in the creation of hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and benefiting from access to credit. It also includes quality social services, social security for all and high performance functional government.