DECLARATION OF PIERRE ERICQ PIERRE,EX-PRIME MINISTER DESIGNATED(Port-au-Prince, May 15, 2008)
1. I would like to thank president René Préval who, in two occasions, has proposed me to occupy the post of Prime Minister of my country. I also thank the Senators, Deputies, the political parties and organizations of the civil society who have publicly honored me of their confidence.
I extend these thanks to journalists of the spoken, written and the televised press that have accompanied me during the whole process and who have proven me of an objectivity that honors them. I thank a special way my colleagues who have, voluntarily, accepted to accompany me and to follow to the letter my instructions. I congratulate members of the “Concertation des Parlementaires Progressistes (CPP)” (Progressive Members’ Meetings of the Parliament) for their victory. I also wish them good luck.
2. My complete name is Pierre Ericq Pierre. This is the name appeared on my birth certificate, on my passports and on my official documents. I am Haitian, and I have never renounced my nationality; also, I have never obtained nor solicited the residence in any foreign country. If some parliament members consider that I am not Haitian of origin, they refer, without doubt, to some criteria that they themselves are able to define.
3. I have accepted to be designated for the post of Prime Minister, and to put my more than 40 years of integrity at the service of my country, because I was persuaded that, in addition to the experience and competence, our country has an urgent need to place, at the shaft of matters, honest men and women, foreigners at the scheming and capable of gaining height to work with success toward improving the existing conditions of the Haitian people. I have said that, to affront multiple challenges called out to us, one should have abandoned the politicians’ politics, have faith in the capacity of our compatriots - those in the country as well as those in Diaspora. From a general governing point of view, I have said that the absolute priority of my government would be to restore confidence, to help my compatriots regain confidence in themselves and in the common homeland.
4. But, since the beginning of the process, I have hurt myself at the forces of corruption. My refusal to conclude a pact with them costs me today to be kept at a distance by the Lower House. The words “home land” or “the country’s interest” have never been present in the messages of emissaries who were pressuring me to negotiate in favor of their protégés some ministerial posts, some envelops with money or projects that can facilitate their re-election. I have always professed that I would not accept to be Prime Minister at any type of price. And I could not either become involved in things that would mortgage the Public Treasury’s resources even before even entering the primacy. I also wanted to play cards on the table by refusing to enter the game of those who think they could hide behind an anti-neoliberal mask.
5. I don’t live the decision of the Lower House as a personal drama. After my meeting with members of “Concertation des Parlementaires Progressistes” (CPP) who have accepted to meet with me, upon the request of Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis who himself has agreed to a request by the president of the Republic; I was convinced that the CPP was not going to support me - unless the President of the Republic or the Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis succeed in persuading the members of the political platform LESPWA who have joined the CPP to vote in my favor. This did not happen, and I don’t want to speculate on what took place.
6. One of the reasons that has also led me to accept the designation is because I’ve witnessed very painfully the events at the beginning of April : the demonstrations against the high cost of living, the violence, the pillage and the absence of public powers. I had the impression of attending a rehearsal for a tragic play. Politics don’t need to be a game of massacre. I’ve said that it should have, at all price, avoided this type of situation and lies to those - Haitians and foreigners who profess of nothing good, nothing great and nothing nice can come out of Haiti. Me, on the contrary, I persist to say to anyone who wants to listen to me in the international community that the problems of my country are certainly great, but the Haitian people are greater than these problems.
7. As head of the government, I was going to impose myself on clear requirements, of simplicity as well as those of strictness. I was getting ready to do fast and well concrete things. Of my point of view, the politics of all government should be easy to understand : by parliament members who should approve it and to appropriate it, by ministers who should apply it, by the private sector that should be a privileged partner, by association of socioprefessionals, popular organizations, the unions, workers, students, peasants and by the great public that should benefit from their consequences.
8. I was ready to explain, explain again, explain always. A requirement of truth was going to preside over the politics of communication of my government. This requirement would be translated by the transparency of its agenda. The programs of actions would be known by everyone. And the calendars of implementation would have been published also, as well as detailed reports of the Republic’s budget. In case of unexpected changes in the calendar, public opinion would have been informed of the causes of these changes. In addition to the traditional media, the new technologies of information and of communication would be available to make these information available quickly. The government would, in this way, make regular assessment of its action and would, openly, publish this assessment, taking into account the slow progresses and the possible errors.
9. The moralization of public life would have been reinforced. The Law on patrimony allowing the verification of the transparency of patrimony of elected officials, high government employees, members of the government, of their immediate entourage and members of the Parliament who would have been involved in it fully. Also, the abuses linked to political blackmailing, the use of bribes, under deserved privileges, traffics of influence and sexual harassment would have been suppressed.
10. Despite of the limitations of the Document of the National Strategy of Growth and Reduction of Poverty (“Document de Stratégie Nationale de Croissance et de Réduction de la Pauvreté (DSNCRP”) because a consensus seems to have founded to make it the document of reference of the government, we estimate that travel warrant of the governmental team was simple enough. Here is why, after the analysis of these three pillars having priority and of multiples domains included in this document, we have obtained six axs from it outlined as follow:
(i). - Fighting the high cost of living (This ax is not really included in the DSNCRP, but we estimate that it was decisive for the government’s credibility.)
(ii). - Assuring the stimulation of employment and of the national production of goods and services.
(iii).- Relaunching the agricultural production and the protection of the environment. (iv).- Modernizing the Government.
(v).- Pursuing and increasing the effort for education and health.
(vi). -Assuring the good functioning of justice and fight insecurity.
11. We were proposing to implement everything to accelerate the execution of projects and establish to that end some criteria of performance for the evaluation of the ministries’ activities and organisms that are involved in fulfilling these works. I, in fact, consider that it’s not normal while we are soliciting daily some new resources of our international partners, we’d not succeed in using, in reasonable deadlines, resources that are already available to us then our communities cry famine and that unemployment has a great influence.
12. We were thinking of taking some measures to coordinate effectively the international cooperation, to go deeper and institutionalize the relationships with the Dominican Republic, and define a travel warrant in sight of a better cooperation with MINUSTAH.
13. I was then prepared to make a difference, and I was going to ask my colleagues of the government to avoid that their compassion for the poor people does not transform neither in indifference for those who are less poor nor in hatred for those who are rich. But, I admit that I have underestimated the weight of the forces of corruption. However, I remain confident that my compatriots, women and men, young and younger, of the interior and of the Diaspora, will not get intimidated forever by the said forces.
14. We must maintain political stability and reinforce the social cohesion. This implies a real engagement from all actors of the national life.
P.S M. Pierre has read this preliminary declaration during a press conference at Montana Hotel in Pétion-Ville.[Translated from French to English by Emmanuel W. Védrine