RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, appointed Ariel Henry as the new prime minister on Monday (5) to form a consensus government that integrates different political sectors in the country.
The new head of government, the fifth appointed by Moise, will have to face the serious security crisis the country is going through and support the organization of the constitutional referendum and the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for September 26.
“I have appointed citizen Ariel Henry to the post of Prime Minister. He will have to form an open government that includes the living forces of the nation, solve the glaring problem of insecurity and support the Provisional Electoral Committee in the conduct of the general elections and the referendum,” Moise said in a message on Twitter.
Henry, a neurosurgeon by profession, was Minister of Interior and Labor during President Michel Martelly’s (2011-2016) mandate and previously held senior positions in the Public Health portfolio.
He replaces Claude Joseph, who served as head of government on an interim basis since April and who also held the post of chancellor.
The new prime minister’s appointment is the result of Moise’s talks with other allied parties and the moderate opposition, aiming to form a consensus government for the last months of his mandate, which ends on February 7, 2022.
Several opposition parties, mostly left-wing, have not joined these talks as they do not recognize Moise’s legitimacy, claiming that his mandate ended in February 2021.
The electoral authorities have called for presidential and legislative elections for September 26 and also a referendum to vote on a new Constitution, the adoption of which is being promoted by Moise.
Haiti has been going through a heavy political crisis since mid-2018 and experienced its most serious moment last February 7, the date on which Moise denounced that the opposition, with the support of judges, were plotting a coup d’état.
At the same time, Haiti is going through a deep security crisis, which has worsened especially since the beginning of June due to territorial fights between armed gangs fighting for control of the poorest neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.