CEP Ruled Laurent Lamothe Lacked Required Discharge

On June 3rd, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has announced its decision to bar the candidacy of former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe while the Haiti's Presidential election campaign is under way as the election is due on October 25th. Laurent Lamothe had hoped to succeed his former boss, President Michel Martelly, but the CEP found him lacking the required "discharge," a routine investigation of government ministers into their use of public funds. Laurent Lamothe, the former Haitian Prime Minister as well as the Minister of Planning & Foreign Affairs was forced to resign from his post amid political standoff in last December. He was required to submit a discharge certificate to run for the election of presidency, from the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes (CSCCA) under the electoral law to affirm that he did not misused any government funds. But, he could not provide that because of a defunct parliament since January 12, 2015. However, it was a matter to be decided by the Haitian Parliament whether in such situation a submission of 'discharge certificate' issued by the CSCCA is mandatory to allow former ministers to compete in elections, never unilaterally to be decided by the CEP. Lamothe has always maintained that he should be allowed to run without a discharge by the CSCCA, because independent auditors have cleared him of financial mismanagement. On Wednesday (June 3) morning, Lamothe wrote on his Twitter "The CEP's decision confirms the arbitrary nature of the electoral process in Haiti, a real threat to democracy." Without a parliament, many former members of the government are left without a discharge. And President Martelly has announced that he would not grant discharges for anyone by decree.


The relationship between Martelly and his former Prime Minister Lamothe has turned sour since the arrest of Woodley Ethéart, a former music promoter with close ties to the Haitian president, Michel Martelly. Ethéart was accused of drug trafficking, running a kidnapping ring said to be responsible in the killing of a police inspector and the abductions of 17 people. The board has rejected the candidacy of Lamothe and two others contestants. The decision appears to be unfairly discriminatory against Lamothe because there are other candidates like Lamothe, who do not have any discharge, but were allowed to proceed, such as, Thierry Mayard-Paul, a former interior minister and adviser to Martelly, Duly Brutus, Martelly's foreign affairs minister and Mario Andersol, the former chief of the Haitian police.

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