More wait for Haiti PM

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, July 28, 2008 – Haiti will have to wait a little longer to find out if the Senate will agree to make Michèle Pierre Louis the country’s second female Prime Minister.

The vote on the nominee – the third since former Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis was fired in April – was expected in the 18-member Senate since last Thursday, but was postponed.

The lower house of Parliament – the Chamber of Deputies – voted 61-1 since July 17 to ratify Ms Pierre-Louis’ nomination.

If she gets the needed vote of confidence from the upper house, Ms Pierre-Louis would be the second woman to serve as prime minister in Haiti, following Claudette Werleigh who served from November in 1995 to February in 1996.

President René Préval’s two previous nominees – Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) economist, Ericq Pierre, and security expert and presidential adviser, Robert Manuel – were both rejected by legislators.

The new candidate is known internationally for her work on behalf of the poor and youth in Haiti and heads the independent educational and cultural organisation, Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (FOKAL), which aims to support the development of children, youth organisations, youth civil society associations, peasants and women’s organisations.