Thu | Jun 8, 2023

Haiti appoints council amid push to hold general elections

Published:Monday | February 6, 2023 | 9:28 PM
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry leaves at the end of a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Battle of Vertieres, the last major battle of Haitian independence from France at the National Pantheon Museum, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, November 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's prime minister on Monday formally appointed a transition council charged with ensuring that long-awaited general elections are held in a country with no democratically elected institutions.

While many doubt the creation of the council will help the government hold elections this year as envisioned, Prime Minister Ariel Henry said it was a significant step toward that goal.

“It is the beginning of the end of the dysfunction of our democratic institutions,” he said.

Haiti has failed to hold elections since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.

Henry assumed power shortly after Moïse's death and promised that his administration would do so.

In early January, the terms of the remaining 10 senators expired, leaving no elected officials in place for a country of more than 11 million people.

Henry called on all Haitians to unite and fight for change as the country continues to spiral, with poverty and hunger deepening and violence spiking.

The prime minister also thanked the council's three members for agreeing to join the government in the “noble and thankless task of serving our country in these difficult times.”

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