Haiti: President Jovenel Moise nominates fourth prime minister | News | DW | 23.07.2019
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Haiti: President Jovenel Moise nominates fourth prime minister

President Jovenel Moise has failed three times to get his choice for prime minister through parliament. The latest name is Fritz-William Michel, according to social media, as the UN looks on.

Haitian media reported late Monday that Prime Minister Jean Michel Lapin had offered his resignation to President Jovenel Moise (pictured).

Read more: Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigns

"I have made a choice for Haiti," Lapin told the newspaper Le Nouvelliste.

Read more: Haiti paralyzed by fifth day of protests against president

In a Twitter post late Monday, Moise announced that he had appointed Fritz-William Michel to replace Lapin, but he still must formalize his decision with an official decree. Formerly an executive in the Economy and Finance Ministry, Michel would become Moise's fourth head of government in his two-and-a-half years in office.

Haiti: Port au Prince

Protests began when a court implicated Moise in an embezzlement scheme

'In the eye'

Michel's appointment came after consultations between Moise and the leaders of the two chambers of parliament — signaling a resumption of dialogue between the three political heavyweights after months of turmoil. He would face the tough task of restoring public confidence in Haiti's leadership.

Read more: The underreported crises

Moise has had his power to appoint ministers challenged and has faced calls to resign after the High Court of Auditors released a report in May that put the president at the center of an embezzlement scheme that siphoned off aid money from Venezuela intended for fixing roads. "I am looking you right in the eye to tell you today: Your president, the one you voted for, is not involved in corruption," Moise said at an official ceremony in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, last month.

Read more: Dozens of Haitian refugees die after Bahamas shipwreck

Also on Monday, the UN Security Council held closed doors consultations in New York on Haiti’s ongoing political crisis. In his latest report to the council on Haiti, Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the political situation, food shortages and deteriorating economy had created a "potentially explosive" situation.

In June, the United Nations released a report that calculated at least 26 people killed during a 2018 massacre in a slum in the capital, with several members of the police and a government representative believed present. Clashes between armed gangs occur almost daily in Port-au-Prince. Sixty percent of Haitians live below the poverty line, the inflation rate has risen past 18%, and violent crime continues to increase.

mkg/jm (Reuters, AFP)

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