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"There's always been payments for ratification of Prime Ministers," says Senator Augustin

Politics

Maxime

Senator Kedlaire Augustin (PHTK - Nord'Ouest) denied allegations that he had taken $100,000 [USD] to vote in favor of ratifying Prime Minister-designate Fritz William Michel but said such "small gestures" are commonplace in the Haitian Parliament.

"These are the same practices that are repeated. There are things that must be done to be ratified. In some cases, you have to make a lot of appointments to public administration. I do not know any Prime Minister, I do not know any ratification of a Prime Minister which was carried out without there having been a distribution of money. This is the practice. Without these actions, some senators may not be in favor of the government in question," said Mr. Augustin.

In an interview with Valery Numa of Vision 2000, Senator Augustin said he was at the meeting which took place at Senate Wilfrid Gelin's (PHTK - Centre) private residence. This is where it is alleged five senators were offered by Fritz William Michel and accepted $100,000 each for his ratification. However, Mr. Augustin said he did not take the money. He said he arrived to the meeting late and left early and was not aware of any conversations along those lines.

But the Senator of the Nord'Ouest also said in the same breath, "even if a colleague told me that he had received money or that he knew that money had been distributed, I would never come to the public square to reveal it."

Augustin equivocated saying, "even though I have a contrary opinion of what happened. It's my understanding of the public thing. If a senator accepts money, it's up to him. It's my understanding as a statesman. If the practice is not good I can always work to eliminate it. But I can not denounce it."

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