Haiti’s Prime Minister resigns
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Garry Conille Friday resigned less than five months after being sworn into office.
In a brief statement, the government announced Conille’s resignation and that President Michel Martelly would address the nation in a live on television later on Friday.
Media reports said that the embattled prime minister submitted a two sentence letter of resignation on Friday
The resignation came after weeks of rumours of strife between the prime minister and other officials in the administration as well as parliament and political observers say it poses a new challenge to Presidewnt Martelly whose administration is struggling to rebuild the country after the January 12 earthquake last year killed an estimated 300,000 people and left mkore than a million others homeless.
“This is not what the population was waiting for, that the National Palace and president’s office are in conflict,” Pesident of Senate, Simon Dieuseul Desras, said, warning the esignation could create a political vacuum.
Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Lamothe and the interim head of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission Ann-Valerie Milfort are among the front runners to replace Conille, a physician who previously served as an aide to Bill Clinton in the former U.S. president’s role as U.N. envoy to Haiti.
He had enjoyed support among foreign officials and non-governmental organizations and his nomination was ratified by the Haitian parliament in October after President Martelly’s two previous choices for the post failed to win support from lawmakers.
Last week he denied rumours of a split with Martelly, telling reporters that “ have a good working relationship with the president.
“Haiti is a big country of rumours. I think we have a very frank and honest relationship where we discuss things. I think a lot of people sometimes have a vested interest in creating a distance between all members of government so you hear that we have problems. … I would basically think that it’s mostly rumours,” he said then.
Media reports Friday said that his resignation may have been prompted in part by a dispute among government officials over whether any of them have dual nationality in contravention to the country’s constitution.
On Thursday, head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, Mariano Fernandez, issued a statement noting a “series of repeated crises between the executive and legislative powers that undermine the proper functioning of the institutions and the democratic process.
“The political deadlock and institutional paralysis between the Government, Parliament and the President does not reflect the commitments they have undertaken vis-a-vis the Haitian people,” he warned.