Haiti’s Martelly Reshuffles Cabinet amid Political Crisis


EspañolOn Sunday, January 18, President Michel Martelly announced through his Facebook page the names of the 18 new ministers and 16 state secretaries to be sworn in on Monday.

After a series of protests aimed at his administration last week in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian head of state told demonstrators on Friday that he had reached an agreement with the opposition and would form a new “consensus” government in the next 48 hours. A new prime minister, moderate opposition leader Paul Evans, was also installed on Friday.

Two members from the social-democratic opposition were among the newly appointed officials announced on Sunday: Victor Benoit, Labor and Social Affairs minister, and Ariel Henry, minister of Interior. On the other hand, seven ministers maintained their current position.

The list also demonstrates the appointment of several of Martelly’s allies in key positions, such as the Minister of Planning, Yves Germain Joseph, and State Secretary for Public Safety, Carel Alexandre.

Last week, Martelly attempted to reach a deal mediated by the United States in order to extend the Parliament’s mandate and call for new elections, but it failed when opposition forces backed away from approving it.

Following the expiration of its mandate, Haiti’s Parliament was dissolved on Tuesday amid accusations that President Martelly forced the political gridlock in order to rule the country by decree.

For his part, Martelly promised a new coalition to rule the country and announced that UN Security Council delegates will visit the country next week to put pending legislative and municipal elections in motion.

Haiti also intends to hold presidential elections this year. Martelly’s term expires in 2016.

Sources: BBC News, Latin Correspondent.

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