Top UN envoy urges dialogue as tensions arise from arrest of Haitian lawmaker

28 October 2011

The top United Nations envoy to Haiti today voiced his concern about the political tension created by the arrest last night of one of the country’s lawmakers and encouraged dialogue to resolve any differences.

Arnel Bélizaire, a member of Parliament, was reportedly arrested after police spotted his name on a list of inmates who escaped on the day of the deadly earthquake in January 2010. He was taken into custody after arriving in the capital, Port-au-Prince, on a flight from France.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Mariano Fernández, said the tension caused by this incident is “harmful” to the country’s best interests.

It may also hinder the implementation of Government programmes to the detriment of the Haitian population who is impatient to see the promises made by elected officials fulfilled, he added in a news release.

To preserve an environment conducive to strengthening democracy and the rule of law, the Special Representative encouraged dialogue, and invited authorities to clarify the legal process, consistent with the constitution, which led to Mr. Bélizaire’s arrest.

The new Government was inaugurated just last week and MINUSTAH has called on all parties to unite to carry out the necessary measures to rebuild a new Haiti, fully respectful of democratic values.

 

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