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"I never gave money to senators...", says Fritz William Michel

Politics

Maxime

"Yes, I had met with GPRD bloc of senators at Senator Wilfrid Gelin's private residence. But there was never talk of the distribution of $500,000 US dollars," said Prime Minister-designate Fritz William Michel in an interview on Friday.

"The discussions were about development projects, among others. I refrain from disclosing all the details of the discussions with the parliamentarians, but there was never any question of coining ... ", he added.

All the elements charged by Senator Sorel Jacinthe (Inite - Grand'Anse) surrounding the circumstances that led to 5 senators receiving payments of $100,000 [USD] each to vote in favor of ratifying Mr. Michel appear to be undisputed except the matter of money changing hands.

On Thursday, Senator Willot Joseph (PHTK - Centre), one of the senators said to have collected the pay for vote said that he was at the meeting at Senator Gelin's (PHTK - Centre) home. Senator Joseph denied ever taking money for his vote but would not deny whether other lawmakers at the meeting were offered, discussed, or had taken payment.

In August, the Prime Minister-designate Fritz William Michel denied owning a Twitter account in his name and image that was active since 2009. After news broke of vitriolic tweets made against well-respected journalists in Haiti, the Twitter account was taken down. Mr. Michel has repeatedly denied any knowledge or affiliation with that account of 10 years and his credibility has been damaged among political observers.

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