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Haiti: Interim president to work for general interest

Haiti: Interim president to work for general interest


Former speaker of Haiti’s parliament Jocelerme Privert has been sworn in as the new interim president of the country, a week after Michel Martelly stepped down.

He will serve for 120 days before the runoff presidential polls are held on April 24.

The winner is expected to take office by May 14.

“We have shown that we can overcome our disagreements, our fights, in favour of the general interests. Many thanks to the politicians responsible, and also to civil society, to the human rights organisations and the international community,” Privert said.

He was chosen over former senate presidents Dejan Belizaire and Edgar Leblanc Fils during a vote in parliament.

“We have gotten through one of the first phases of the crisis, but we’re not giving Privert, who is someone with public administration experience, a gift,” Member of Parliament, Printemps Belizaire said.

Dejean Belizaire promised to support the vision of the interim president, “If in search of consensus, the president calls on my MP28 party, at that time, we will be ready to take part in forming the next government,” Belizaire said.

Some opposition leaders have contested the election of Privert accusing parliament of being the judge and jury in its own case.

Violence and protests forced the cancellation of a run-off presidential poll in January between Jovenel Moise and opposition leader Jude Celestine.

Jovenel Moise was accused of benefiting from government support during his first round victory.

The last time there was an interim government in Haiti was after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide left power and it took about two years for elections to be held.

Privert had been accused of being behind the massacre of Aristide opponents.

The charges were later dropped.