Plans for new government in Haiti
Port-au-Prince – Less than 48 hours after a “Core Group” of international diplomats called on Interim prime minister Claude Joseph to step down and allow for designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to form a “consensual and inclusive” government, Haitian authorities Monday announced the possible formation of a new government by Tuesday.
Henry had been named as the country’s seventh Prime Minister since 2017, by President Jovenel Moise, two days before he was assassinated by gunmen at his private residence overlooking the capital on July 7.
But Henry was never sworn into office and following Moise’s death, Joseph had been running the country and had announced that presidential and legislative elections would be held on September 26 with the second round scheduled for November.
Last Saturday, the “Core Group” representing countries such as Germany, Brazil, Spain, the United States, France, the European Union and representatives from the United Nations and the Organisation of American States (OAS), appeared to snub Joseph, urging that the designated prime minister be allowed to form a government.
The group also called for a “consensual and inclusive government,” adding “to this end, it strongly encourages the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government”.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, who until earlier this month was also the chairman of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, of which Haiti is a member, said that the statement by the Core Group “is not just about a snub for Joseph”.
“The real snub and outright insult is the absence of even a mention [far less recognition in any form] of CARICOM. Haiti is a full member of CARICOM, its largest member, and this lack of recognition and involvement combined is an insult to all of us, coming from those who designate themselves the ‘Core Group’,” Rowley said.
The Core Group statement was issued hours after Moïse’s wife, Martine, returned here from the United States where she had been seeking medical treatment having been injured during the armed attack that killed her 54-year-old husband.
She has not issued a statement or spoken publicly since her return to Haiti as the government prepares for the July 23 funeral that will be held in the northern city of Cap-Haitien.
Late on Sunday night, Henry released an audio statement addressing Haitian citizens and promising a new coalition government.
“My fellow Haitians in Haiti and in the diaspora, it is an honour for me to address you as your prime minister. I am calling for all of us to unite and to work together to stop the nation from descending into the abyss.
“Today, it is our responsibility as leaders to work together to faces our challenges. I know some people are scared and have questions about who is leading the country. We weren’t ready for recent events, but I can assure you that in a very short period of time I will unveil a new coalition government. This government will lead the country for a short period of time until we can hold better elections,” Henry added. (CMC)