Joseph Jouthe appointed Prime Minister with the aim of lifting the country out of the crisis

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse (right) and Joseph Jouthe, the new prime minister, on February 22, 2020 in Port-au-Prince.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse (right) and Joseph Jouthe, the new prime minister, on February 22, 2020 in Port-au-Prince. God Nalio Chery / AP

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse appointed Joseph Jouthe as the country's new prime minister on Monday March 2. The presidential decree was published in the Haitian official journal The monitor Monday afternoon, confirming the morning announcement on Twitter of Mr. Moïse who had then used a different spelling:

"Following consultations I had with different sectors of the country, I made (the) choice of citizen Joute Joseph as the new Prime Minister. The latter is called upon to form, as soon as possible, a government of openness and consensus, capable of responding to the emergencies of the day ”

Since September 2018, Joseph Jouthe has held the post of Minister of the Environment and also became Acting Minister of Economy and Finance in September 2019. He replaces Jean-Michel Lapin, who has never passed the interim stage.

Haiti is plunged into an intense political crisis since the resignation, in March 2019, of Prime Minister Jean-Henry Céant. Joseph Jouthe is the third head of government that Jovenel Moïse has appointed since this departure.

The legislature has never ratified any of these choices, preventing a government from taking office. The legislative elections not having been organized in the fall of 2019, the parliament has been ineffective since January: the ratification of Mr. Jouthe cannot therefore be carried out according to the constitutional rules. Negotiations initiated since last summer among the political class to form a new government ended in failure; the opposition calls for the resignation of Jovenel Moïse as a prerequisite for the opening of any discussion.

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Popular anger against President Moïse

The Haitian president has concentrated popular anger since the May 2019 announcement by the Superior Court of Auditors of his alleged involvement in a large corruption scandal spanning the past ten years in the country. This deep political crisis aggravates the economic crisis by curbing any national or international investment. Faced with massive unemployment, faced with inflation above 20%, the population is impoverished.

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A third of Haitians are today in serious food insecurity, a step that precedes famine according to the classification used by the World Food Program. In this context of socio-political crisis, Haiti has been witnessing for several weeks an increase in kidnappings for ransom, which are added to the usual violence of armed gangs in poor neighborhoods.

A French World Food Program worker was released Thursday evening, two days after her kidnapping in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, the UN agency said on Friday.

The World with AFP


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