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Haiti Senate president injured in attempted assassination 

January 9, 2023
Haiti Senate President Joseph Lambert injured in assassination attempt, January 8, 2023. (Via CMC)

Port-au-Prince, Haiti CMC – President of the Senate, Joseph Lambert, has been treated at a hospital in the capital, Port-au-Prince, as he escaped an assassination attempt on Sunday.

The authorities said that Lambert underwent an eye operation and his doctors said he remains under observation.

Media reports said that heavily armed individuals opened fire on the vehicle in which Lambert was travelling on Sunday at a roundabout not far from the former premises of the Parliament.

The attack on the Senate President came the same day that the mandate of the 10 remaining Senators ended at midnight on Sunday.

As a result, Denis Cadeau, Jean Marie Ralph Féthière, Jean Rigaud Bélizaire, Garcia Delva, Joseph Lambert, Kédlaire Ausgustin, Patrice Dumont, Pierre François Sildor, Rony Célestin and Wanique Pierre, are no longer regarded as elected legislators or mayor.

The Senate is the upper house of Haiti’s bicameral legislature. It consists of 30 seats, with three members from each of the 10 administrative departments. Senators are elected by popular vote to six-year terms, with one-third elected every two years. There are no term limits for Senators; they may be re-elected indefinitely.

In 2015, the Senate was reduced to only 10 members and the chamber of deputies was closed because the elections to replace one-third of the senators and all of the deputies in 2013 were delayed indefinitely causing senators and deputies to finish their term in January 2015 without any replacement.

This led to a dysfunctional National Assembly. In the 2015 parliamentary elections these two-thirds were filled with new elected members, completing the 30 senators. Since January 2020, the number of lawmakers who retain their senate seats has again been reduced to 10 since President Jovenel Moïse failed to hold elections in time to replace the others, whose terms expired before his assassination on July 7, 2021.

Last year, the United States Department of State, imposed sanctions on Lambert “for his involvement in significant corruption and a gross violation of human rights”.

US Secretary Antony J. Blinken said Lambert abused his public position by participating in corrupt activity that undermined the integrity of Haiti’s government.

“Further, there is credible information of Lambert’s involvement in a gross violation of human rights, namely an extrajudicial killing, during his government tenure,” Bilken added.

But Lambert, who along with several other prominent Haitians have been accused of such allegations, has denied the position by Washington.

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