The Haitian government officially appointed Prime Minister Ariel Henry on Tuesday, almost two weeks after President Jovenel Moise was shot dead in a plot to assassinate the country’s Caribbean.
Henry took on the role of the true leader of the poorest nations in the western world at a ceremony in the capital Port-au-Prince, where he began his inaugural address with a one-minute silence on the assassinated president.
Haiti is facing unrest caused by violent gangs and Henry has said he wants to create an environment for as many people as possible to vote in elections, which are scheduled for September.
“It’s an hour of unity and stability,” said Henry.
He called for continued government support, which has received billions in aid since the 2010 earthquake.
Former incumbent Prime Minister Claude Joseph said Henry’s appointment was aimed at facilitating elections, which were last held in 2016. He also warned against hard work ahead.
“You inherit a unique situation known for the absence of a president to be used as a shield, a political crisis that has never happened in the country’s history, widespread insecurity, dire conditions and economic risks,” Joseph declared.
Henry and Joseph both insisted that the government must restore order and security as well as work to rehabilitate the economy devastated by crime and the coronavirus epidemic.
Tuesday’s ceremony took place when official memorial services began for Moise, who was killed at midnight on July 7 at his private residence in Port-au-Prince by a group of more than 20 mercenaries. Colombians.
The leader’s own security chief, Haitian police officers and a Haitian-American couple were arrested on suspicion of involvement in a plot to assassinate the president.
Moise’s assassination shook the weak political system while focusing on weak security institutions plagued by powerful gangs that control all parts of Haiti as authoritarian lords.
Henry, a 71-year-old neurologist, was appointed by Moise as the new prime minister a few days before his assassination, but he was not officially sworn in.
Joseph retained the post of prime minister after the assassination despite criticism from national political opponents who accused him of reckless exploitation. Joseph has returned to his former post as foreign minister, just as several other ministers are expected to keep their old posts for now.
Moise’s wife, Marine Moise, who was also shot, returned to Haiti over the weekend after being treated for injuries at a Miami hospital.