Haiti’s new prime minister, Ariel Henri, assured AFP on Tuesday that his priority would be to prepare for elections, which must take place in a “conducive environment”, an event that seems far-fetched given the current instability in this country. Caribbean country.
“My task is simple. The president has entrusted me with creating an environment conducive to the organization of inclusive elections with high participation,” he said yesterday in an exclusive telephone interview with AFP.
Haitian President Jovenel Moise appointed doctor Ariel Henri as prime minister on Monday. The former prime minister did not last three months in this position.
“Today I am working to form my government,” stressed the new prime minister who will succeed Claude Joseph, who was appointed by Moise in mid-April. Henry is Moss’ seventh prime minister in 4 years.
Haiti, the poorest country on the American continent, suffers from insecurity, particularly kidnappings for ransom carried out by gangs with virtual impunity.
President Moyes, accused of inaction in the face of the crisis, is facing extreme mistrust on the part of a large part of the civilian population.
In this context, and to raise fears of a shift towards generalized chaos, the United Nations Security Council, the United States and Europe consider holding free and transparent legislative and presidential elections a priority by the end of 2021.
Next to the opponents
Henry, the 71-year-old surgeon who is close to political opponents, is completing his third ministerial experience in government.
He previously served as Minister of the Interior from January to September 2015, then Minister of Social Affairs and Labor from September 2015 to March 2016 and was also a member of the Cabinet of the Minister of Public Health from June 2006 to September 2008, before becoming Chief of Staff (2008- October 2011).
Henry said President Moise set himself the goals of “forming an open government,” “solving the glaring problem of insecurity” and working “to achieve general elections and a referendum.”
This constitutional referendum, which was scheduled to take place on June 27 and then postponed in the midst of the crisis, was promoted by Moyes but widely contested by the opposition even in the presidential sphere because the measure is accused of not respecting the provisions of the current constitution.
The appointment of the new prime minister comes as a result of talks Moyes held with other allied parties and the moderate opposition to form a consensus government, facing the final months of his term, which ends on February 7, 2022.
Many opposition parties, mostly from the left, did not join these talks because they do not recognize Moyes’ legitimacy, considering that his term expired in February 2021.
The electoral authorities have called for presidential and legislative elections to be held on September 26.
The crisis was exacerbated by gangs
At the same time, Haiti is undergoing a deep security crisis, which has been particularly exacerbated since the beginning of June by the territorial conflicts between armed gangs vying for control of the poorest neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince.
Haiti has been going through a strong political crisis since mid-2018 and saw its most dangerous moment on February 7, the date when Moise denounced that the opposition, with the support of judges, was planning a coup.