Haiti swears in new Prime Minister

Haiti sworn in a new Prime Minister on Tuesday, as mourning for late President Jovenel, Mose continues.

Former interim PM Claude Joseph was replaced by 71-year-old neurosurgeon Ariel Henry after the July 7 commando assault on Mose’s private house left the First Lady critically wounded.

Joseph rejoined the new administration as foreign minister after agreeing to step aside and relinquish the position of prime minister to Henry.

Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Henry has been appointed as the leader of a new administration in an effort to pacify a country that has been on the verge of collapse.

Ariel Henry, tapped by late Haitian President Jovenel Moise to be the new prime minister just days before he was assassinated, arrives to the official memorial services for Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
Ariel Henry, the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise’s choice for Prime Minister, arrives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 20, 2021. ADUENGO /Ricardo

When Henry was appointed to the position by Moise only days before his death, it was widely seen as a significant step toward the conducting of elections, which many Haitians and the international world had desired.

Following the assassination of the president by armed commandos, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph proclaimed a “state of siege” put himself in control, igniting a power struggle in the violence-plagued, poor Caribbean country.

“One of my first priorities will be to reassure the people that we will do everything possible to restore order and security,” Henry told Haiti’s 10 million people on Tuesday.

“This is one of the major problems that the president wanted me to address because he recognized that it was an essential step if we were to achieve in his other priority, which was to organize credible, honest, transparent, and inclusive elections.”

In Port-au-Prince, the inauguration event was preceded by somber tributes to Moise, which included speeches, dancing, and singing on a platform decorated with bouquets of white flowers and a large picture of the murdered president.

Haitian officials are currently probing the mysterious reasons for Moise’s killing with the assistance of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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