Haitian Prime minister Claude Joseph told he is going to leave office

By Hanan Redwan Published on July 20, 2021
Haitian Prime minister Claude Joseph told he is going to leave office

Officials in Haiti say interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who has run the country since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, is preparing to hand power to a challenger backed by the international community.

Foreign ministry senior official Israel Jacky Cantave told Reuters that Joseph could hand over power to Ariel Henry, a 71-year-old neurosurgeon, in a ceremony as soon as Tuesday.

Haiti Elections Minister Mathias Pierre told The Associated Press that Henry would take charge on Tuesday but said negotiations are ongoing as to when Joseph will step down. He said Joseph would go back to being the minister of foreign affairs.

Earlier Monday, Joseph told the Washington Post he would leave office, allowing Henry — who was designated to take over as prime minister by Moise but was never sworn in — to form a government.

"Everyone who knows me knows that I am not interested in this battle or any power grab," Joseph told the Post. "The president was a friend to me. I am just interested in seeing justice for him."

Joseph's announcement followed a statement Saturday from a group of international diplomats that called to create "a consensual and inclusive government” in Haiti.

"To this end, we strongly encourage the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government," the group said in a statement.

The group, known as the Core Group, includes ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the U.S., France, the European Union and representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Biden administration "welcomes reports that Haitian political actors are working together to determine a path forward in the country."

Moise was gunned down on July 7 when several assassins raided his home in Port-au-Prince.

Hanan Redwan

Hanan Redwan

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