Haiti moves to install prime minister in wake of president’s assassination

Haiti Moves To Install Prime Minister In Wake Of President’s Assassination
Haiti President Killed, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Danica Coto, Associated Press Reporter

Haiti’s designated prime minister Ariel Henry will replace the country’s interim prime minister to honour the wishes of the country’s murdered president, an official said.

It was not immediately clear how quickly interim prime minister Claude Joseph, who has been leading Haiti with the backing of police and the military since the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise, would step down.

“Negotiations are still in course,” Haiti elections minister Mathias Pierre said, adding that Mr Joseph would go back to being minister of foreign affairs.

Mr Joseph could not be immediately reached for comment, and Mr Henry did not return a message for comment.

The change follows a statement on Saturday from a key group of international diplomats that appeared to snub Mr Joseph as it called for the creation of “a consensual and inclusive government.”


“To this end, it strongly encourages the designated prime minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government,” the statement from the Core Group said.

Haiti’s first lady Martine Moise, wearing a bullet proof vest and her right arm in a sling, arrives at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Communications Ministry/AP)

The Core Group is composed of ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the US, France, the European Union and representatives from the United Nations and the Organisation of American States.

Monique Clesca, a Haitian writer, activist and former UN official, said she does not anticipate any changes under Mr Henry, whom she expects to carry on Mr Moise’s legacy.

But she warned Mr Henry might be viewed as tainted because of the Core Group”s involvement.

“If he accepts this, there is not only a perception, but the reality that he has been put there by the international community, and I think that’s his burden to carry,” she said.

“What we’re calling for is for Haitians to really say this is unacceptable.

“We do not want the international community stating who ought to be in power and what ought to be done.


“It is up to us.”

A picture of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise hangs on the wall (Joseph Odelyn/AP)

The Core Group statement was issued hours after Mr Moise’s widow, Martine, arrived in Haiti on Saturday aboard a private jet clad in black and wearing a bulletproof vest.

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.

Other events to honour Mr Moise are planned this week in the capital of Port-au-Prince ahead of the funeral.

Mr Moise designated Henry as prime minister a day before he was killed, but he had not been sworn in.

The neurosurgeon was previously minister of social affairs and interior minister He has belonged to several political parties including Inite, which was founded by former president Rene Preval.

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