Fri | Oct 30, 2020

UPDATE: Haiti President says he will soon start process for new PM

Published:Tuesday | March 19, 2019 | 10:54 AM
President Jovenel Moise - CMC photo

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – President Jovenel Moise says he will soon begin the process of selecting a new prime minister for the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

This even as Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant says he does not recognise the decision to force him out of office on Monday following an overwhelming vote in the Lower Chamber of Deputies.

“I inform you that I will begin consultations with the Parliament as soon as possible on the selection of a new Prime Minister, in accordance with Article 137 of the 1987 Constitution as amended,” Moise wrote in a letter to the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Gary Bodeau.

Céant and his 21-member cabinet will remain in office as caretakers until a new prime minister is named.

Under Haitian law, a caretaker prime minister and government can only oversee the country’s day-to-day affairs, and cannot enter into any new contracts.

Céant, a lawyer, had replaced Jack Guy Lafontant as prime minister six months ago following a series of street demonstrations over fuel increases.

But, in recent weeks President Moise has been under pressure from opposition parties to step down over his handling of domestic affairs as well as the use of funds under the PetroCaribe an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

In his letter, President Moise acknowledged receiving the information regarding “the decision of the Chamber of Deputies who dismissed Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant following a motion of censure voted by the Assembly of Deputies with ninety-three (93) votes “for”, six (6) “against” and three (3) “abstentions”.

But, Prime Minister Céant, who was not present when the vote was taken on Monday, has refused to accept the position insisting that he is still heading a government in office.

Last month, CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St Kitts-Nevis “expressed deep concern about the situation prevailing in Haiti during the past three weeks characterised by violent protests jeopardising the political, economic and social stability of the country’.

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