Congresswoman Waters Reiterates Support for Haitian Elections at Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), a strong advocate for the Haitian people in the U.S. Congress, reiterated her support for free, fair, and timely elections in Haiti during a hearing yesterday, in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, entitled "Haiti: Is U.S. Aid Effective?" She addressed her comments to Thomas C. Adams, Haiti Special Coordinator for the U.S. State Department, who was testifying at the hearing.
"Without good governance, foreign aid is unlikely to result in long-term economic and social development for the Haitian people," said Congresswoman Waters. Free, fair, inclusive, and timely elections are critical for Haiti's economic and social development."
Congresswoman Waters reminded Haiti Special Coordinator Adams that she had previously urged support for elections in Haiti in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry dated October 1st. She asked the Special Coordinator to respond to the concerns expressed in her letter.
"There is a widespread rumor within Haiti and among the Haitian diaspora that the Haitian government does not intend to allow the Senators elected in 2009 to serve out their full six-year terms. This rumor has it that the government intends to force these ten Senators to leave office in January of 2014, leaving the Senate completely unable to function, and this renews old concerns about rule by dictatorship," stated the Congresswoman in a section of her letter that she read during today's hearing.
During Congresswoman Waters' twelve terms in Congress, she has visited Haiti many times, and she has worked with her colleagues in Congress, State Department officials, Haitian political leaders, and Haitian civil society to promote political stability, democracy, the rule of law, and economic and social development in Haiti. Following the 2010 earthquake, she introduced the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act (H.R. 4573), which was passed and signed into law by the President.
"I urge the State Department to do everything possible to be of assistance to the Haitian government to hold elections consistent with the Haitian Constitution," concluded Congresswoman Waters.
To read more about Congresswoman Waters' longtime work on Haiti, click here.