BCED's verdict on Sophia Martelly Dual Nationality

On Thursday, April 30th around 11pm, the Departmental Electoral Office of Litigation (BCED) West 1, has given its verdict that the first lady Sophia Martelly meets all the requirements of the Haitian constitution and the Election Decree to become a candidate for the Senate. Earlier, after submitting her nomination, some challengers like Dr Louis Gérald Gilles of Fanmi Lavalas, Marie-Denise Claude, Me Tranquilor Mathieu (Unité Patriotique) and the platform JUSTIS had challenged her candidacy on two main grounds. Firstly, she holds dual nationality, U.S and Haitian and secondly, as the President of the National Commission Against Hunger & Malnutrition, she still holds a fund of $234 at her disposal on which she has not received any certificate of discharge as required for accounting of public funds, under the law.


However, the BCED, while delivering its verdict has said that challengers could not present any acceptable or tangible evidence on any of their allegations, none on the dual citizenship or on her management of public funds. Mr. Gregory Mayard Paul, one of the lawyers of the first lady (and the Special Adviser to the Head of State) had argued that her client had renounced her U.S citizenship acquired by birth much before (on March 31, 2014 under the provision of Section 349(a) (5) of the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1952) the time of registering her candidacy. Both of her parents are Haitian and a document (Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States) submitted by her client clearly proves that she held no dual nationality, as alleged by the complainants.

Regarding the accusation of handling unsettled public funds, a certificate produced by the Ministry of Economy and Finance confirms that the first lady was never involved in the management of any public fund and no specimen signature of her was ever found on any document that could suggest or establish her involvement in the fund mentioned by the plaintiffs.

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