|Time’s up for over 100 city mayors|
|Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:01|
Although the 2012 election plans still remain uncertain, the Haitian federal government has announced plans to revoke the positions of almost 120 elected city mayors.
Minister of the Interior and Local Authorities, Thierry Mayard-Paul made the announcement to the press this past week, saying that a list of the districts affected will be released imminently.
"This political decision was taken at the government level to promote inclusive elections in the country," said Mayard-Paul.
Interim officials will be appointed by federal authorities to serve in their absence, despite concerns about assigning officials without a majority vote, as specified by the constitution. The official terms of office have been expired for mayors nationwide, after the delay of February 2012 election meant to select new mayors. Both municipal and legislative elections have been delayed since November 2011.
In response to the announcement, President of the Mayors Association of Grand Anse, Jean Claude Fignole, blasted the order, arguing in an open letter that the ministry's move to replace voted officials with ministry appointments was an "abuse of power."
"The truth is that the mayors were entrusted with a mandate by voters, who are the only ones to have the authority to return them by electing other mayors in their place," said Fignole. "Your decision, Minister, is akin to a usurpation of authority."
Meanwhile, the senate still operates with only two thirds of its members. Ten senators were removed from office, following constitutional laws stipulating that senators serve a maximum of six years. There is however no cap on term lengths for municipal representatives, which has previously allowed mayors to continue serving in office until the election. With the electoral council dismissed by President Martelly in December 2011, there has also been no official confirmation about a date for the elections.