Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Haiti to assume chairmanship of CARICOM early next year

Published:Saturday | December 2, 2017 | 12:00 AM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC):

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin LaRocque has held talks with President Jovenel Moise, who becomes the next chairman of the 15-member regional integration movement in February next year.

A brief statement posted on the CARICOM website Friday said that LaRocque met with Moise here on Thursday "to provide his usual briefing to the incoming chairman".

Moise will replace Grenada's Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell following his six-month stint as chairman of the regional grouping under the rotation system.

Moise became head of state of the French-speaking CARICOM country in February after a long-running political crisis.

The 48-year-old banana exporter, who has never held political office, was the hand-picked candidate of former president, Michel Martelly.

Moise initially won the first round of voting in October 2015, but the results were subsequently annulled amid allegations of massive fraud. But he prevailed in the elections last November and vowed to stimulate the economy and create more jobs on taking up office.

The CARICOM website noted that Haiti will also host the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in February, and representatives of the Haitian government and the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat "have started joint preparations for the meeting which is expected to further advance a number of critical issues for the community".