Haiti names members of transitional council set to take power


  • World
  • Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) -Haiti's government on Tuesday named the members of a transitional council set to take power when Prime Minister Ariel Henry steps down - inching closer to putting in place measures that could restore security in the violence-wracked country.

The council is expected to choose a leader and a prime minister and wield certain presidential powers by majority vote. Its mandate runs to February 2026.

The government, however, did not give a date for the council's installment and local lawyers have warned that the process of confirming the members could be long and several nominees could be rejected.

Henry left Haiti in February to seek international help for the country's police in their battles with armed and powerful gangs. When worsening violence blocked his return, Henry announced his resignation. Finance Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert has since been in charge, though his actions have been limited to signing off on nighttime curfews.

The transitional council, which had been long delayed and whose creation was only formalized on Friday, will include seven voting members and two non-voting members.

The voting members are former central bank governor Fritz Alphonse Jean, former ambassador to the Dominican Republic Smith Augustin, barrister Emmanuel Vertilaire, former senate president Edgard Leblanc, ex-senator Louis Gerald Gilles, businessman Laurent Saint-Cyr and Leslie Voltaire, a former diplomat.

The non-voting observers are evangelical pastor Frinel Joseph and Regine Abraham, who once worked for the World Bank and the country's environment ministry.

Violence has escalated in Henry's absence with gangs attacking areas they do not yet control. Ports and the capital's airport remain closed, at least 360,000 people have been displaced and nearly half the country is going hungry.

(Reporting by Harold Isaac and Sarah Morland; Editing by Kylie Madry and Edwina Gibbs)

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