New Haiti PM must stabilize violence-stricken nation

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By Creative Media News

  • Fritz Belizaire nominated as Haiti’s interim prime minister
  • Faces challenge of stabilizing nation amid widespread violence
  • Political turmoil persists as council grapples with internal disputes

Fritz Belizaire has been nominated by the transitional council of Haiti to assume the position of prime minister in the precarious Caribbean nation. 

The council appointed the former minister of sports to succeed Michel Patrick Boisvert as interim prime minister on Tuesday. A previously obscure new premier is confronted with the formidable challenge of stabilizing the island nation, which is engulfed in anarchy due to the takeover of numerous regions by violent armed groups. 

Former Senate president Edgard Leblanc Fils was previously appointed president of the body by the council. The appointments are the result of weeks of political impasse and internal strife on the council, which was reconstituted a month after the resignation of former prime minister Ariel Henry. 

The nomination of Belizaire received the support of four out of the seven voting members comprising the nine-member panel. Additional members expressed their lack of familiarity with him. 

The electoral council and cabinet, which the council is responsible for appointing, should be operational before the first general elections in Haiti since 2016. 

However, the procedure has been delayed due to internal disputes within the panel. It is reported that tensions surrounding the selections on Tuesday threaten to dissolve the council. 

“This is an outstanding candidate for prime minister,” Fils reportedly said of Belizaire (AP). “Our paramount concern is this resolve, this resolve to transcend divisions, surmount conflicts, and achieve a consensus.” 

Violence persists

During the council meeting, gunfire could be heard throughout the capital city of Port-au-Prince, illustrating the difficulty the new prime minister of Haiti will have in putting an end to the disorderly violence that has become a daily occurrence. 

Approximately 4,000 inmates were liberated in February during attacks on the two largest prisons in Haiti. Since then, the groups have attacked infrastructure and seized control of authorities in numerous regions amid an outbreak of violence. 

Since March, the United Nations reported that over 2,500 individuals have been slain or injured throughout Haiti. Pupils have fled more than 95,000 from Port-au-Prince. People are having difficulty obtaining food and medical assistance due to the closure of Haiti’s airports and ports. 

Louis Gerald Gilles, a member of the transitional council who advocated for Belizaire’s appointment, told AP that “the Haitian people can no longer wait.” The matter of security is critical for maintaining social tranquility. 

A midnight plotting

Nonetheless, the long-awaited attainment of political stability appears distant. 

The Caribbean nation has been devoid of political activities for the past eight years, and its president has been absent since the assassination of Jovenel Moise in 2021. 

Henry, who had not been elected, was deposed in February after a coordinated assault orchestrated by armed gangs, who demanded his resignation. 

Having sought international assistance to quell the violence in Kenya at the time, he continues to be denied entry to Haiti. His letter of resignation was received one week ago. 

The presidency of the country will be assumed by the transitional council until elections can be arranged; these must occur by February 2026.

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Perhaps unhelpful is the proclamation of Belizaire as the new prime minister. 

While he held the position of sports minister from 2006 to 2011, his notoriety within the nation is limited. Consequently, certain transitional council members were taken aback by his apparent backroom dealings to secure the appointment. 

A civil society organization opposed to the selection, The Montana Accord, issued a statement claiming that the announcement was the product of a “conspiracy” devised “in the middle of the night” by four council members against the Haitian people. 

The transitional council’s subsequent task will be to determine whether or not to support the deployment of a Kenyan police force, aided by the United Nations in the fight against criminals. It is uncertain, nevertheless, when that might occur.

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