1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Haiti: Transitional council to form new government

April 13, 2024

A transitional council has been created to choose Haiti's next prime minister and Cabinet. The move is seen as the first step in bringing security to the troubled country.

National Police patrol an intersection amid gang violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
In the midst of gang violence, the national police try to control at least parts of Port-au-PrinceImage: Odelyn Joseph/AP Photo/picture alliance

Haiti's government on Friday issued a decree formalizing the creation of a nine-member Presidential Transition Council tasked with choosing the next prime minister and Cabinet.

The decree, published in Le Moniteur gazette a month after Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he would step down, calls for the council to "participate, in agreement with the prime minister, in the formation of an inclusive ministers' Cabinet."

It says the council must "rapidly" choose a new prime minister but does not set an exact timeframe. The decree stipulates the council be headquartered in the National Palace in downtown Port-au-Prince.

First step to restoring security

The long-delayed move is seen as a first step toward bringing security to the Caribbean nation, where most of the capital remains under the grip of criminal gangs.

The formation of the council is also an important step toward holding a presidential election by early 2026. The council's mandate is supposed to end when a new president is sworn in, with no possibility of extension.

However, questions remain over whether the US-backed interim government will be able to impose its authority over the gangs that control much of Port-au-Prince.

Haiti's gang violence pushes country to the brink

Caricom hails the decree

"The establishment of the...politically inclusive council signals the possibility of a new beginning for Haiti," a Caribbean trade bloc known as Caricom, who helped form the council, said in a statement.

It said the council "will take the troubled country through elections to the restoration of the lapsed state institutions and constitutional government."

The council's creation comes exactly a month and one day after Caribbean leaders announced plans to help form the nine-member panel with seven members awarded voting powers.

Haitian gangs a long-term phenomenon

Brian Concannon from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti told DW that the creation of the council does not mean that the gangs in Haiti are going to disappear in the near future.

According to Concannon, the gang phenomenon in Haiti is a long-term phenomenon, as in many other countries that lack effective government.

"In long term eliminating gangs means providing basic government services which won't happen overnight," an expert said.

Concannon's view, however, is that the goal of elections in Haiti in 2026 is realistic, "But we'll see in the nearest weeks and months if this is a government Haitians trust."

dh/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters)