PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Tuesday March 22, 2016 – There’s a new obstacle to political stability in Haiti, following the lower chamber of Parliament’s rejection of the interim Prime Minister and his policy statement.
Fritz Jean, an economist and former governor of Haiti’s central bank, failed to get the support required in a vote in the Chamber of Deputies on Sunday. A new nominee will now have to be named by interim president Jocelerme Privert.
Jean needed at least 60 votes in the 119-member Chamber, but of the 66 who were present, only 38 voted in his favour.
“We rejected the programme of Fritz Jean because his nomination by President Privert did not meet the consensus requirements which should characterize the prime minister,” Deputy Gary Bodeau, told Reuters news agency.
Without that approval, Jean cannot form a Cabinet or push forward with plans to hold elections on April 24.
Under a timeline outlined in an agreement reached before former president Michel Martelly left office last month, a presidential vote is scheduled for that date and a new president is due to take office by May 14 to take over from the interim holder of the office, Privert.
But Parliament’s refusal to give Jean the nod could delay that transfer of power.
Jean had been sworn in near the end of last month and on Sunday was seeking Parliament’s ratification.
However, Martelly’s party has insisted that the appointment of Jean, who is from the same party as President Privert, concentrates too much power in one party.
Jean’s policy statement, delivered to Parliament on Sunday, spoke to organizing a transparent and credible poll, strengthening national security, encouraging investment, stimulating economic activity, improving the delivery of justice, improving sanitation, preparation for the hurricane season, and mitigation of health risks, especially the Zika virus and cholera.