July 13, 2021
By: Emmanuel Roy
TrueNewsReport – WENDELL COQ-THÉLOT, an incorruptible jurist, is the only person in Haiti who has the respect and credibility to take this country out of this impasse just like another female Jurist did three decades earlier. The Haitian diaspora wholeheartedly supports her as the president of the transition government.
Wendelle Coq, originally from Marmelade, is an influential woman ana a seasoned professional who spent more than a decade at the Court of Appeal of Gonaïves and Port-au-Prince; then elevated to a judgeship at La Court De Cassation since 2011.
Mrs. Thelot (her husband’s name) is a mother and has been married for twenty (20) years. She studied law in Gonaïves under the influence of her father, a brilliant lawyer. After studying law, she worked as a lawyer in n Gonaïves, then enrolled in the School of the Judiciary.
In 2001 she joined the Gonaïves Court of Appeal, where she served for three (3) years. Then, following the natural disasters that ravaged the city, Ms. Coq was transferred to the Port-au-Prince Court of Appeal as Deputy Government Commissioner and then as a judge in that same Court.
She is the holder of two master’s degrees, one in judicial studies and the other in governance. Ms. Coq has published three books, the last of which in 2017 is entitled “Principle of Commercial Law and Commercial Procedures.”
Besides her job as a judge in Haiti’s highest Court, she has also devoted her time to teaching the next generation of Haitian lawyers and contributing to the training of several groups of lawyers and magistrates through different universities including the School of Magistracy.
In 2011, she was appointed associate justice at La Court De Cassation, Haiti’s highest Court. Ms. Coq is one of the few women to have held a leadership position in the judiciary. She said “If women are under-represented in the spaces of power and decision-making in the country, it is a result of a cultural burden.” In her opinion, this situation will not remain unchanged because, unlike previous years, more “women are attending universities than 20, 30, 40 years ago.”
In 1990 when Haiti was facing a situation not unlike the situation of today, Ertha Pascal-Trouillot stepped in as the provisional President of Haiti for 11 months between 1990 and 1991. She was the first woman in Haitian history to hold that office but hopefully not the last. As provisional president, Pascal-Trouillot oversaw the coordination of the most successful democratic electoral and constitutional transition that the country had ever witnessed.
In a country riddled by strongman politics and autocratic rule it is time that we look to someone with the strength, caliber, political savviness and experience as well as an understanding of the strengths and limitations of the Haitian Constitution.
Ms. Coq must be the provisional President of Haiti. Like Pascal-Trouillot, Ms. Coq has no ambition of holding on to executive control unlike many of her male counterparts and she refuses any tactical alliances.
Ms. Coq is the only non-partisan participant in the Haitian government who could spearhead and hold a fair election. The appointment of Ms. Coq must happen expeditiously to save the country and forgo a looming civil war or worse yet, a foreign occupation.
The writer is the executive director of the Haitian Diaspora Political Action Committee – [email protected].