Haiti’s Martelly Authorizes Official Publication of Amended 1987 Constitution

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Above: President Martelly (centre) at the press conference announcing the move (Photo: OP)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti finally has the official version of its amended constitution.

Haiti President Michel Martelly authorized the reproduction of the version of Haiti’s 1987 constitution Tuesday in Port-au-Prince.

The constitution had been voted upon by Haiti’s National Assembly May 9, 2011 but went through a number of delays.

The authorization means the constitution can be published in the official Moniteur gazette.

Martelly was joined at the ceremony by Sen. Simon Dieuseul Deras, the president of the National Assembly, vice president of the National Assembly Levaillant Louis Jeune, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Supreme Court President Dr Anel Alexis Joseph.

The amendments add several new bodies to Haiti’s government: a Permanent Electoral Council, the Supreme Council of the Judicial Police and the Constitutional Courts of Haiti.

The amendments include changes that require 30 percent of Haiti’s government jobs be filled by women. They also mean Haitians who have more than one passport are now both eligible to vote and eligible for Parliament and certain (but not high-level) cabinet positions.

Martelly said the changes would bring “many new elements to the construction of a genuine rule of law” in Haiti.

The dual citizenship issue plagued the country’s political debate for some time, with inquiries into the citizenship of a number of government officials.

The move could provide a boost for a country that has lost many of its brightest minds to other countries.

Martelly left for the Rio+20 conference in Brazil later on Tuesday.