Split within Haiti’s recently installed CPT over prime minister position

The recently appointed Prime Minister of Haiti, Fritz Bélizaire (Photo Credit: CMC)

The Fanmi Lavalas political party of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide, is threatening to withdraw from the presidential transition council (CPT) if Fritz Bélizaire is not removed as prime minister.

The CPT on Tuesday named Belizaire, a former sports minister as the country’s prime minister replacing Michel Patrick Boisvert, the former minister of economy and finance who was the current interim prime minister.

The nine-member transitional council, seven of whom have voting rights, and Belizaire, who served as sports minister during the second presidency of René Préval from 2006 to 2011, is reported to have had the support of four of the council’s voting members.

The Conference of Haitian Pastors (COPAH) has also “strongly” criticised what it described as the “undemocratic approach and the violation of the agreement of April 3rd, 2024” in the appointment of Belizaire as prime minister.

It said the appointment was done “without consideration for other entities of civil society interested in proposing…candidates for this position. The prime minister selection process must be based on clearly defined criteria rather than political affiliations,” it said.

Haiti has been steeped in political turmoil and social unrest following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on July 7, 2021.

Rival gangs have over-run the poverty-stricken French-speaking country, plunging citizens into further despair and forcing several foreign agencies to remove non-essential staff from their offices in Haiti.

More than 2,500 people were killed or injured across Haiti from January to March, according to the United Nations. Nearly 95,000 people have fled Port-au-Prince. People are struggling to find food and access healthcare with Haiti’s ports and airport closed.

The surprise announcement of Belizaire is threatening to hamper the work of the CPT with other members apart from Fanmi Lavalas also considering stepping down.

The Montana Accord, a civil society group represented by a council member with voting powers, in a statement late Tuesday denounced what it called a “complot” hatched by four council members against the Haitian people “in the middle of the night”.

“The political and economic mafia forces have decided to take control of the presidential council and the government so that they can continue to control the state,” the Montana Accord said.

Haiti’s newly installed presidential council has promised security, justice, and economic recovery, while constitutional reform and credible general elections also top the agenda, as the troubled Caribbean country seeks its way out of the crisis.

Last Thursday, the regional integration grouping, Caribbean Community (Caricom) issued a statement welcoming the formal installation of the CPT.

It said the formal installation of the nine-member council “marks a significant achievement through a process driven by Haitians in the interest of Haiti. It also represents a critical step forward for both the council and the Haitian people in addressing the protracted multidimensional crisis afflicting the country.

“This is an opportunity to craft a new beginning which will give all Haitians renewed hope for a return to constitutional government, stability and sustained development,” Caricom said.

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