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29459: Holmstead(fwd): Transparency International in its 2006 report applies to the Latortue government (fwd)

FROM: John Holmstead

AHP News - November 7, 2006 - English translation
The corruption in Haiti cited by Transparency
International in its 2006 report applies to the
Latortue government, according to Minister  Joseph

Port-au-Prince, November 7,  2006  (AHP) - Minister
Joseph Jasmin, responsible  for  relations between the
Executive Branch and the Parliament, said Tuesday that
the corruption discussed in the 2006 report of
Transparency International (TI)  in its entry on Haiti
has nothing to do with the Préval/Alexis government,
which has only been in office since June 2006.

In its latest report, published in Berlin,Transparency
International presented Haiti, Burma and Iraq as the
three most corrupt countries out of a total of 163
countries in its survey based on local perceptions of
the level of public sector corruption.

"The corruption to which Transparency International
refers when it ranks Haiti as it did has one source,
and that is the interim government that led the
country from March 2004 to May 2006, insisted Minister
Jasmin, noting that as the report has been published
in 2006, it concerns the interim government and it is
that government that should be held accountable, he

We have the obligation to inform all levels of Haitian
society about this fact to avoid any attempt at
confusion, he said.

"No serious report can be prepared spontaneously.
Considerable time is needed to conduct investigations,
carry out research, collect data and tabulate it
before arriving at a conclusion", he asserted.

" Everyone knows that corruption was lord and master
over the past two years", Minister Jasmin went on to
say, stressing that as a member of President Préval's
transition team, he and his colleagues often had the
impression that there were craters beneath their feet
when the files were handed over, as there were so many
irregular situations in the country's finances.

In a statement issued Monday in  Port-au-Prince, the
representative of TI in Haiti, Marilyn Allien, accused
the Alexis government of having done nothing to fight

She tried to justify her accusations by citing the
fact that the new authorities withdrew the complaint
filed in Florida by the Latortue government against
ousted President  Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Mr. Jasmin downplayed this accusation, affirming that
beyond the legal irregularities that plagued the
complaint, the initiative was simply a political
decision taken by political adversaries against the
Aristide government.

The new government remains committed to the fight
against corruption, contraband, illicit trafficking
and crime, said  Joseph Jasmin.

The Haitian government spokesperson also observed
sardonically that it is not the withdrawal of the
complaint against Mr. Aristide that drove the interim
government to commit the earlier acts of corruption
denounced by Transparency International.

Joseph Jasmin emphasized that the results of the
audits have not yet been published because not all of
them are complete at this time.

"The work is continuing and the results of the audits
will be made public to enable all sectors to have
accurate information on the management record of the
interim government", said Minister Jasmin, adding that
at that time everyone will be held accountable.

The day after its inauguration, said Jasmin, the top
priority of the new government was to meet the
greatest needs of the population.
AHP November 7, 2006 2:40 PM

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