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The presidential transitional council takes oath and takes the reins of power in Haiti

Photo: Clarens Siffroy Agence France-Presse A Haitian police armored vehicle is parked near the Presidential Palace and the Ministry of Finance, in Port-au-Prince, on April 2

Jean-Daniel Senat – Agence France-Presse, Gerard Martinez – Agence France-Presse, Inès Bel Aiba – Agence France-Presse in Port-au-Prince, Miami and Washington

Posted at 10:33 a.m. Updated at 2:55 p.m.

  • Americas

The presidential transitional council in Haiti, born of long and difficult negotiations, was sworn in Thursday after the official resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, and must now tackle the difficult task of governing a country plagued by gang violence .

The nine members of the council — eight men and one woman — were sworn in in a two-stage ceremony, first at the presidential palace, where they were greeted by a fanfare, then at an official government residence.

The United States hailed a “crucial” step for the organization of elections in a country which has not experienced one since 2016, and the UN judged that this was a “new opportunity to move forward towards the reestablishment of democratic institutions”.

< p> “Madam and Gentlemen, members of the transition council, this morning’s ceremony officially gives you the reins of the destiny of the nation and its people,” the interim Prime Minister, Michel Patrick, told the new authorities. Boisvert.

“It is a relief for the country which will thus be able to continue to hope and believe in the possible change (that) all sections of the population are calling for,” he added, emphasizing “the heavy responsibility » that the organ now assumes.

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“Abject failure”

The council's absolute priority is the “restoration of public security,” said one of its members, Régine Abraham.

She also pointed out, a severe tone, “the bitter failure” of the outgoing government, “which has completely abandoned its responsibility to protect its population against criminal violence, to offer public services to its population and to manage the economy”.

At the same time, the contested Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who announced in March that he would resign once the new authorities were installed, made the departure of his government official in a letter.

“I thank the Haitian people for the opportunity to serve our country with integrity, wisdom and honor. Haiti will be reborn,” he wrote in this letter dated Wednesday but made public Thursday.

While awaiting the formation of a new government, Michel Patrick Boisvert been named interim prime minister, according to the outgoing cabinet.

Mr. Boisvert had already signed a number of official press releases in recent weeks, Ariel Henry having been unable to return to his country after a trip to Kenya and being in the United States.

Le transition council must now form a new government and appoint a prime minister.

Gang violence

It took several weeks of complex negotiations, marked by reversals, for the council to see the light of day. In question, disagreements between political parties and other stakeholders but also with the outgoing government, not to mention doubts about the very legality of such a body.

The latter is made up of seven members with voting rights, representing the main political forces in Haiti and the private sector. Two observers without the right to vote also represent the voice of civil society, the other of the religious community.

Haiti has suffered for decades of chronic political instability. But at the end of February, the gangs, whose violence was already ravaging entire sections of the territory, launched coordinated attacks against strategic sites, saying they wanted to overthrow Ariel Henry.

Ce the latter, appointed a few days before the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, was strongly contested.

On March 11, the same day that a meeting was held between Haitians and several organizations and countries such as the United States, he announced that he would resign to make way for a transitional presidential council.

Without a president or parliament, Haiti has not had an election since 2016.

The capital is 80% in the hands of criminal gangs , accused of numerous abuses, in particular murders, rapes, looting and kidnappings for ransom.

An international security mission supported by the UN and supposed to be led by Kenya is still in limbo.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116