Lawmakers overwhelmingly gave final approval to Jean-Max Bellerive as Haiti’s new prime minister on Tuesday, the sixth person to hold the post since 2004.
The Chamber of Deputies voted 70-2, with two abstentions, to back the appointment of Bellerive, who in a question-and-answer session with lawmakers earlier in the day promised to court investors and lift people out of poverty in the hemishere’s poorest nation.
His credentials had already been approved by both parliamentary houses and the Senate approved his Cabinet and plan of government on Monday. Bellerive’s inauguration was expected yesterday.
Bellerive was nominated by Haitian President Rene Preval after the Senate ousted former prime minister Michele Pierre-Louis on Oct. 30. She was removed after a year in office because of allegedly failing to ease poverty in Haiti and help it recover from storms last year that killed hundreds and caused US$1 billion in damages.
The size of Bellerive’s task is clear outside the rundown legislative complex: Walls along garbage-strewn streets are covered with graffiti denouncing the government and the 9,000 UN peacekeepers who patrol Haiti’s capital and countryside.
Bellerive has defended the previous government’s efforts to build roads, install electricity and attract investment. He pledged to continue the work he did as minister of planning and external cooperation.
Bellerive is an economist who served in the administration of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In recent years, he has worked to coordinate and attract investment and foreign aid.