Sun, Jan 18, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Haitian president installs Evans Paul as prime minister

ACROSS THE TRACKS:The appointee is a former opponent of the president. He has not received the approval of parliament, whose term ended without setting an election date

AFP, PORT-AU-PRINCE

A demonstrator marches brandishing a rope in Port-au-Prince on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Haitian President Michel Martelly on Friday swore in former political opponent Evans Paul as prime minster, following the resignation last month of former Haitian prime minister Laurent Lamothe.

Paul took office during a ceremony at government headquarters attended by diplomats and political figures. However, he still does not have the constitutional approval of parliament, whose term ended on Monday last week without any date being set for new elections.

Protesters accuse Martelly of tacitly allowing the parliament to expire in order to rule by decree like the nation’s former dictators.

Though Martelly has said he would consult with 10 senators who remain in office before making any big decisions, opposition parties continue to demand he step down. Calling for unity, Martelly announced the formation of a consensus government in the next 48 hours.

“No country has managed to bring development without unity around a strong and devoted state,” Martelly said.

For his part, Paul pledged that important opposition figures would be part of the new Cabinet. He also said his main mission would be to “prepare conditions for democratic and inclusive elections in 2015.”

US Vice President Joe Biden on Friday spoke with Martelly, saying he was disappointed that Haiti’s parliament did not pass an electoral law before Monday last week.

Biden also “commended President Martelly for his efforts to reach a negotiated agreement with the Haitian parliament and political parties to allow Haiti to hold elections,” the White House said in a statement.

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