National coat of arms of Haiti

Haiti Political System

Middle America

Form of government, constitution, separation of powers

With the fall of Duvalier in 1986, the democratization process began in Haitia. In 1987 the country received its constitution, which is still valid today. Haiti has been a presidential republic since then. The constitution provides for a separation of powers between the president, the government and a bicameral parliament. The President is elected for a term of five years and can run for a second term, which may not, however, immediately follow the first. Should the office of President become vacant, it will automatically be taken over by the Chairman of the Supreme Court. He must be confirmed by the National Assembly and hold elections within 45 to 90 days, in which he is not allowed to run. The state president appoints the prime minister, who must be confirmed by parliament.

According to zipcodesexplorer, Haiti is a country located in Caribbean sea.The parliament consists of two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies (Chambre des Députés) with 99 members who are elected for 4 years and the Senate (Sénat) with 30 members who are elected for 6 years.

Current political situation

On July 14, 2018, Prime Minister Guy Jack Lafontant announced his resignation to forestall a vote of no confidence in parliament. The cause was the violent unrest that broke out after the government announced on July 6 that the price of gasoline would be increased by 38%, diesel prices by 47% and kerosene by 51%. Several deaths and looting occurred during the demonstrations against the price increases and attacks on several luxury hotels. Numerous roads across the country have been blocked and air traffic has been temporarily suspended. As the riots occurred relatively quickly after the announcement, doubts arose as to whether these were spontaneous actions by the population. It is believed that behind the protests, political opponents of Jovenel Moïse, gasoline smugglers or rich families who benefit from state subsidies for gasoline prices. Due to the riots, the price increases were withdrawn on July 7th. The background for the drastic price increases is the demand of the IMF to the Haitian government to undertake economic reforms in return for grants of $ 96 million. One of the measures is to remove subsidies for gasoline, diesel and kerosene, which amount to $ 160 million a year.

Another destabilizing factor is the activity of various criminal gangs in Haiti. The number of armed gangs in Haiti is estimated at 76, of which one group called Fantom has made 509 headlines lately. This group is supposed to consist of former and active police officers, some of whom are also in uniform. It emerged from a protest movement by police officers who used gun violence to demand better working conditions and better pay. Meanwhile, the group was classified as a terrorist organization classified. In the first few weeks of September, the group paralyzed parts of Port-au-Prince with violent protests that set government buildings on fire and road blockades to release one of its members.

Foreign policy

Due to the country’s economic situation, foreign policy contacts are primarily determined by international aid. A reconstruction conference in New York promised Haiti extensive relief efforts after the earthquake. Historically and due to the geographical proximity, the closest contacts exist with the USA. Although the USA provides most of the international aid, the relationship is ambivalent – not least because of the American occupation from 1915 to 1934. With its extensive aid programs, the USA is interested in curbing illegal immigration from Haiti to the USA, however also the fight against drug trafficking, for which Haiti is an important transit country.

Although the Dominican Republic provided extensive humanitarian aid after the earthquake, the relationship between the two countries is still strained. The reasons for this can be seen, on the one hand, in the history of the two states. On the other hand, the precarious situation of the Haitian workers and their unclear legal status in the Dominican Republic repeatedly gives rise to disputes. At the end of 2013, the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic ruled that the children of Haitian immigrants no longer have the right to Dominican citizenship. As a result, Dominicans of Haitian descent are considered stateless declared even though they never lived outside the Dominican Republic. The deportation of these Dominicans began on June 16, 2015. The deportation is not only a catastrophe for those affected, it also presents the Haitian government with insurmountable problems.

As one of the largest donors, the EU has been contributing to the poverty reduction strategy since 2007 and finances numerous projects in the areas of humanitarian aid, education, governance, infrastructure and internal security. Foreign policy relations with Germany have traditionally been good since the 1970’s. The focus of the cooperation is on support from Germany in the democratization process and in development cooperation, especially in the areas of health care, disaster control and resource protection.

National coat of arms of Haiti