The United States has claimed that Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry could stay beyond February 7, while his opponents demand his departure from power on this date, which was to be that of the end of the mandate of President Jovenel Moïse, assassinated. in July.
"From a legal point of view, the term of the prime minister is not tied to that of the term of the president
," said senior US diplomat Brian Nichols.
"I don't think Haitians are obsessed or focused on the date of February 7,"
he added during an exchange with the press, following an international meeting organized online by Canada. , to discuss the Haitian crisis.
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The assassination of the Haitian head of state, although unpopular and accused of authoritarian excesses, shocked the inhabitants and plunged the poor Caribbean country even further into a crisis of governance.
Appointed only two days before the assassination, without having had time to be formally installed in his functions, Ariel Henry de facto took over the leadership of the country with, according to his opponents, a crying lack of legitimacy.
The telephone exchanges he would have had the night of the attack with Joseph Félix Badio, one of the main suspects, amplified the criticisms against him but Ariel Henry has always rejected these accusations which he describes as
Although he has been struggling since the fall to bring the political class together, the renewed support of the United States is a major asset in keeping him in power.
"February 7 does not mark the end of the mandate of the government which has the responsibility to organize free and democratic elections"
, declared Ariel Henry on Friday on Twitter.
"The next tenant of the National Palace will be a president freely elected by all the Haitian people,"
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Gathered in a coalition nicknamed "Montana agreement", named after the hotel in Port-au-Prince where the political agreement was signed, the opponents of Ariel Henry plan to choose, via an indirect election at the end of January, a transitional executive power which would be made up of a presidential college of five members and a Prime Minister.
Since coming to power on February 7, 2017, Jovenel Moïse had not organized any elections, contrary to the Constitution.
Their absence now places Haiti in a political impasse, at a time when armed gangs are spreading terror, notably by multiplying kidnappings in the capital Port-au-Prince.