Category Archives: Haiti

Haitian president denies US citizenship shows passport to end nationality dispute


PORT-AU-PRINCE: President Michel Martelly displayed his Haitian passport on national television on Thursday to try to quell rumours that he gave up his citizenship and is not eligible to hold office.

“I am a native Haitian. I, Joseph Michel Martelly, have never lied,” the president said during a meeting with religious leaders at the presidential palace which was broadcast on national television.

The Haitian constitution does not recognise dual nationality for senior government officials, and politicians have been disqualified from office in the past for having acquired the citizenship of other countries.

Critics of Martelly, a former globe-trotting musician, charged that he had renounced his Haitian citizenship prior to taking office last May. Several opposition senators went so far as to open an inquiry into the question of his passport.

Martelly had already denied that he held the citizenship of another country but angered opponents by refusing to show his Haitian passport.

But on Thursday, Martelly showed reporters eight stamped passports that he’s held over the years as US ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten and other diplomats looked on.


Haiti prime minister abruptly resigns post

Français : Garry Conille

By Trenton Daniel

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille abruptly resigned Friday after less than five months on the job in a political setback for President Michel Martelly, whose struggle to fill the top government post has hampered earthquake reconstruction and other development efforts.

Conille handed in a two-sentence letter of resignation, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he had not yet been authorized to publicly release the information. No successor has been announced.

Conille, a physician who previously served as an aide to Bill Clinton in the former U.S. president’s role as U.N. envoy to Haiti, enjoyed support among foreign officials and non-governmental organizations. But Haiti is sharply divided politically, and he was a target of occasional criticism in the opposition-controlled legislature.

Conille was ratified by the Haitian parliament in October after Martelly’s two previous picks for the post failed to win support from lawmakers.

The delay in appointing someone to run the day-to-day affairs of the government slowed the appointment of lower-ranking officials and delayed efforts to rebuild the capital and surrounding area from a devastating January 2010 earthquake.

His resignation may have been prompted in part by a dispute among government officials over whether any of them have dual nationality, which the nation’s constitution prohibits for senior government officials. Many officials in Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean spend considerable time overseas.