Interview With Gerin Alexandre of Caraibes FM

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ambassador's Residence
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Mrs. Clinton, what was the purpose of your visit in Haiti?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am here to express our continuing support for the Haitian people, to show solidarity on behalf of the many challenges that still confront Haiti, and to speak out to ensure that the voices and votes of the Haitian people are heard and respected.

QUESTION: But Mrs. Clinton, this visit come in a different situation with the post-electoral crisis in Haiti and you met with three of the principal candidates. What did you discuss?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I met with the three principal candidates to hear their point of view. The United States does not support or oppose any candidate. We support the Haitian people, and we want to see this post-election crisis resolved in a way that respects the votes of the Haitian people and moves toward a new president.

QUESTION: But (inaudible) U.S. Administration support the report of the OAS?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, we do. We support the report and recommendations of the OAS along with the international community. And I’ve just met with six leaders of the private sector and civil society in Haiti, who told me that they also did reports which are the same as the recommendations of the OAS. So there is support for the OAS and there is support within Haiti for the results of the OAS study.

QUESTION: It seems – it look like – we don’t understand, why do electoral (inaudible) publish the schedule for a second (inaudible) just two days before coming here?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t have any idea. I don’t know why they – they would have published it, but it’s been two months and there does need to be a decision about moving forward. And there is a date set for the election, which hopefully will be met so that the people can express their opinions by their votes.

QUESTION: Yes, you’re talking about respect for (inaudible). Next week, there will be very (inaudible) and reasonable (inaudible) to go as some politicians, some political (inaudible) as for that, what (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is up to the Haitian people. As I understand the situation, there is a constitutional requirement for the date of February 7th. How that is interpreted and what the president and the people of Haiti decide is up to them. But it is important that the election go forward so there can be a new president. There is so much work to be done in Haiti, and the international community stands ready to help. But we have to get through this election system in order to know who will be Haiti’s president to be able to work with that person.

QUESTION: And (inaudible) American administration think about the return of Jean-Claude Duvalier?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t know why he came back, but he has no reason that he has provided. But the people of Haiti and your government have made it clear that he must answer to the problems of the time when he was president. And I think that is appropriate.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) must be made with two candidates, and you met three. Why?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we know that the top two candidates, according to the OAS report, have a great deal of support together. But we know that the third candidate is claiming that he should be the second candidate. So I did not want to in any way be accused of not meeting with all three. But we support the OAS recommendations and we would like to see them move forward, because we think that’s the best way to respect the votes of the Haitian people.

Ultimately, this is not a decision for the United States. This is a decision for Haiti. We are just, as your friend, urging that this decision be made in the most constitutional way that respects what the people of Haiti voted for.

QUESTION: My last question. Have you already met with (inaudible) Preval, Prime Minister Bellerive and (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I will be seeing them later this evening.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir. Nice to see you.

PRN: 2011/T39-06