Haiti’s Parliament rejects interim Prime Minister

23 March 2016

Volume 39, Number 12

Haiti’s Parliament has rejected the proposal that the economist Fritz Jean become the country’s interim Prime Minister. The decision has had the effect of casting the provisional government and the date of fresh elections into a state of uncertainty.

Mr Jean, named by the Interim President Jocelerme Privert as his Prime Minister, needed at least 60 of the 119 votes from members of the Lower House to support his nomination. However, when the vote was taken on the evening of March 20, he received 38 votes with 36 against and one legislator abstaining.

The decision had the effect of not only rejecting the proposed Prime Minister but also his general policy statement setting out how the country would move forward.

The Parliament also rejected plans for new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) that is needed to organise the twice-postponed presidential run-off vote, now scheduled for April 24.

The vote leaves President Privert without a government to run the country or any clarity as to how elections are to be held as mandated previously (Caribbean Insight January 6, 2016) following President Michel Martelly’s constitutional departure from office on February 7 this year.

Mr Jean had been nominated and then sworn in at a ceremony at the National Palace in the hope that his experience and reputation as an economist and former governor of Haiti’s central bank would overcome objections from opposition lawmakers.

In his inaugural speech to the Parliament on March 20, he said that his new government was committed to providing to all institutions involved in the electoral process the necessary means for achieving the objectives.

He had also noted the country’s increasingly precarious economic situation and had promised that until the next administration was elected, his administration in coordination with the monetary authorities, would take the appropriate measures to stabilise the currency, create the conditions for better planning and address the poor state of public finances.

Meanwhile, speaking at the UN Headquarters in New York prior to his rejection, Sandra Honore, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Haiti, had told members of the Security Council that the country’s economy was showing signs of fatigue, with public and private investment on a drastic decline, growth waning and inflation increasing, making the country vulnerable to external shocks, and humanitarian crises.

 

This is an extract from the Caribbean Council’s leading weekly editorially independent publication, Caribbean Insight, which provides in depth information on current economic, political and commercial developments in the Caribbean and news on events in Europe and the US that affect the region. Business people, academics, and those with a general interest in the Caribbean find it an invaluable tool for developing and maintaining knowledge and providing an insight into political, economic and commercial events in the region.

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