Haiti’s caretaker prime minister to step down amid power struggle after president’s assassination

The deal brings to a close a day of talks between the two men who lead the Caribbean nation. Joseph has led the country since the startling Assassination of President Jovenel Moise On 7 July stressed the need for stability in the Caribbean nation. Henry, who had been nominated for premier a few days before Moise’s death but never took office, disputed Joseph’s claim.

Henry will now become prime minister and Joseph will retain his original role as Haiti’s foreign minister, current election minister Mathias Pierre told CNN on Monday.

“Talks about the formation of the rest of the government are still ongoing, with no official announcement yet,” Pierre said.

Pierre also said that a council of ministers would be held on Monday afternoon to make a final decision about the new government. Henry is expected to be installed and the rest of his government, announced Tuesday.

Henry, a neurologist by training, was named prime minister by Moises on 5 July, but was never officially sworn in. He has remained largely silent as to the investigation into Moise’s death. But late Sunday, Henry issued an audio statement addressing Haitian citizens and promising a new coalition government.

“My fellow Haitians and expatriates in Haiti, it is an honor for me to address you as your Prime Minister. I am calling on all of us to unite and work together to prevent the nation from descending into the abyss ,” said Henry.

“Today, it is our responsibility as leaders to work together to meet our challenges. I know some people are scared and question who is leading the country. But I can assure you that in a very short time I will unveil a new coalition government. This government will lead the country for a short period of time till we have better elections.”

Soon after Moise’s death, Joseph vowed to lead the country until the presidential and legislative elections. But on Saturday, the core group – a collection of foreign ambassadors and special representatives based in Haiti that includes the US – called on Henry to take the lead.

Henry should form a new government and hold presidential elections “as soon as possible”, the group said in a press statement published by the United Nations Unified Office in Haiti (BINUH).

According to election minister Pierre, the election is likely to take place 120 days after Henry was sworn in as prime minister.

A conference of activists and civil society groups also met over the weekend aimed at releasing plans to create a transitional government council that would lead the country. They argue that Haiti, which is plagued by mass violence and structural issues, will not be able to hold free and fair elections this fall.

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