(HorizonPost.com) – On July 7, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was brutally assassinated by a group of mercenaries, making an already chaotic government situation there even worse. According to the order of succession in the country, the president of Haiti’s Supreme Court, Judge René Sylvestre, would have taken over, but he died of COVID-19 on June 23. This unique situation left both Ariel Henry and Claude Joseph laying claim to the office.
Joseph was officially the interim Prime Minister (PM) at the time of the murder and thus took over the reins of office. Moïse appointed Henry to become the new PM two days before the attack, but Henry, as PM-designate, had not been sworn in.
Update @CBCNews: Haiti's political crisis could be closer to resolution after interim prime minister says he'll step down in favour of the assassinated president's choice as successor. https://t.co/h1stDk3pp4
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) July 19, 2021
The Biden administration originally recognized Joseph as the legitimate leader and had not made any statement on the change in government at the time of publication. The Core Group — described by the Washington Post as “an informal bloc of ambassadors and envoys that includes the United States” — on the other hand, put its support behind his rival Henry.
In a statement made July 19, Joseph said he’ll be stepping aside in favor of Henry, who will now have to form a government that can work together to build up the country the World Bank describes as the poorest in “the Latin America and Caribbean region.” Neither President Joe Biden nor the United Nations have ruled out military intervention if it becomes necessary.
Copyright 2021, HorizonPost.com