JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has stated that based on talks with former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Saturday (Feb. 28) there was nothing to suggest that his resignation was imminent. Mr. Patterson made the comment while addressing a post cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House on Monday (Mar. 1).
“To the contrary, he made it extremely clear that the intended to remain in office until the expiration of his constitutional term which ends in February of 2006,” Mr. Patterson stated.
The Prime Minister said he was not in a position to speculate what might have caused any change in Mr. Aristide’s decision and expressed surprise that having changed his position, the former President did not communicate with any Leader of the Caribbean Community.
He said CARICOM was never privy to any plan to secure the resignation or removal from office of President Aristide before the expiry of his constitutional term in Office and that at no point in time was the CARICOM Action Plan predicated on his removal from Office.
Questioned as to whether or not President Aristide was forcibly removed from office, the Prime Minister noted that no CARICOM Leader had spoken to the former President or anyone who left the Presidential Palace with him and as such, he would have to withhold any judgment as to the circumstances surrounding his removal.
An emergency meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government is scheduled for Jamaica on Tuesday (Mar. 2) to among other things, examine the way forward in relation to Haiti and the nature of the support that CARICOM would continue to give to the people of Haiti.