Image of Haiti
Haiti's transitional council moves towards strengthening the country's institutions AFP

Haiti's transitional council announced on Tuesday that former Sports Minister Fritz Belizaire will be the country's new prime minister, taking another step toward strengthening its institutions while quelling the violence that has engulfed it.

The Associated Press reported that Belizaire had the support of four of the council's nine members. After making the announcement, they went back behind closed doors to discuss the Cabinet members.

Belizaire will now replace Michael Patrick Boisvert, the former minister of Economy and Finance who was acting as interim prime minister. He had replaced Ariel Henry, whose resignation was a key step for the council to begin its operations in mid-April.

Haiti's transitional council
The members of Haiti's transitional council AFP

According to The Miami Herald, council members have given themselves broad powers over the incoming government, including the ability to fire the next prime minister, something that usually falls under the purview of parliament.

They can also name people to a series of newly created agencies, including a national-security commission. And most importantly, it will have to pave the way to hold a presidential election in 2026. The country hasn't had a presidential election since 2016.

The council also had to commit to accepting the deployment of an international security force tasked with neutralizing the gangs that now control most of Port-au-Prince.

Gang leaders, however, have threatened to further escalate violence in the country if they are kept out of the country's political decisions. In an interview with CNN on Monday, Vitel'homme Innocent, chief of the Kraze Barye gang, asked the council to pay attention to the gangs and find a solution "as soon as possible."

Among their demands is amnesty for their crimes and the creation of a plan for young gang members forced to join them as a result of coercion or lack of other opportunities, Innocent added.

Jimmy "Barbecue" Chérizier, the country's most notorious gang leader, also sent a clear message through social media. He said that the coalition of gangs that dominate most of Port-au-Prince, called Viv Ansanm (Living Together) needed to be included in transition talks.

"Viv Ansanm is ready to talk. Either we're all at the table or the table gets destroyed with all of us around it," he said.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.