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Official: Haiti’s interim prime minister to step down

It wasn’t immediately clear how quickly Claude Joseph, who has been leading Haiti since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, would step down

Haiti’s designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry will replace the country’s interim prime minister to honor the wishes of the country’s slain president, an official told The Associated Press on Monday.

It wasn’t immediately clear how quickly interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who has been leading Haiti with the backing of police and the military since the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, would step down.

“Negotiations are still in course,” Haiti Elections Minister Mathias Pierre said, adding that Joseph would go back to being minister of foreign affairs.

Joseph could not be immediately reached for comment, and Henry did not return a message for comment.

Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph gives a press conference in Port-au-Prince, Friday, July 16, 2021, the week after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s on July 7. (AP Photo/Joseph Odelyn)

The change follows a statement Saturday from a key group of international diplomats that appeared to snub Joseph as it called for the creation of “a consensual and inclusive government.”

“To this end, it strongly encourages the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government,” the statement from the Core Group said.

The Core Group is composed of 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.

Monique Clesca, a Haitian writer, activist and former U.N. official, said she doesn’t anticipate any changes under Henry, whom she expects to carry on Moïse’s legacy. But she warned Henry might be viewed as tainted because of the Core Group″s involvement.

“If he accepts this, there is not only a perception, but the reality that he has been put there by the international community, and I think that’s his burden to carry,” she said.

Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise speaks during an interview at his home in Petion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Sources say Moise was assassinated at home, first lady hospitalized amid political instability. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

“What we’re calling for is for Haitians to really say this is unacceptable. We do not want the international community stating who ought to be in power and what ought to be done. It is up to us.”

The Core Group statement was issued hours after Moïse’s wife, Martine, arrived in Haiti on Saturday aboard a private jet clad in black and wearing a bulletproof vest. She has not issued a statement or spoken publicly since her return to Haiti as the government prepares for the July 23 funeral that will be held in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Other events to honor Moïse are planned this week in the capital of Port-au-Prince ahead of the funeral.

Moïse designated Henry as prime minister a day before he was killed, but he had not been sworn in. The neurosurgeon was previously minister of social affairs and interior minister He has belonged to several political parties including Inite, which was founded by former President René Préval.

The post Official: Haiti’s interim prime minister to step down appeared first on TheGrio.

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