Haiti: Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph to Step Down and Hand Over Power

Claude Joseph, who has taken over as Haitian Prime minister after the death of Jovenel Moise, the former Prime Minister, killed in his Port-au-Prince home, has agreed to step down and hand over power to Ariel Henry, despite his vows to lead the country until presidential and legislative elections this fall.

Joseph who has been acting in the place of Moise since his death on July 7, bowed to pressure after days of negotiations by the Core Group, a collection of foreign ambassadors and special representatives based in Haiti, which includes the United States, called for Henry to be the one to lead the Caribbean nation as the next country’s Prime Minister.

The group said this in a press statement published by United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti that Henry should form a new government and organize presidential elections “as quickly as possible”.

Ariel Henry, had earlier been named the Prime Minister on July 5, before Moise’s death, but was never officially sworn in, has largely been silent during the investigation on Moise death, released an audio statement addressing Haitians.

The audio statement, as captured on CNN online news platform reads, “my fellow Haitians in Haiti and in diaspora, it is an honour for me to address you as your Prime Minister. I am calling for all of us to unite and to work together to stop the nation from descending into the abyss.

Henry continued, today, it is our responsibility as leaders to work together to face our challenges. I know some people are scared and have questions about who is leading the country. We weren’t ready for recent events, but I can assure you that in a very short period of time, I will unveil a new coalition government. This government will lead the country for a short period of time until we can hold better elections.”

Haiti current Elections Minister, Mathias Pierre has also confirmed that while Ariel Henry will be the next Haitian Prime Minister, Claude Joseph will take over his original role as the country’s Foreign Minister. Pierre added that elections are likely to be held in 120 days after Ariel Henry is sworn in as Haiti’s Prime Minister.

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