Cabinet Defection, Senate Chief’s Power Play Deepen Haiti Crisis
(Bloomberg) -- Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry suffered a high-level cabinet defection and renewed challenges to his grip on power after a prosecutor accused him of involvement in the assassination of the president in July.
On Wednesday, Renal Luberice, the secretary-general of the Council of Ministers, resigned saying he would no longer serve a leader who had been linked to the “villainous murder” of President Jovenel Moise in July, and who was refusing to cooperate with justice.
The announcement via Twitter came the day after a Port-au-Prince Prosecutor, Bed-Ford Claude, asked a judge to indict Henry for his alleged involvement in the Moise assassination plot. While the Prime Minister’s office has not directly addressed the accusations, it announced that Claude had been fired hours later.
While some local media have reported that Henry may already have fired Luberice before he quit, it’s another sign of an ongoing power struggle in the troubled Caribbean nation.
Henry’s office didn’t reply to requests for comment.
On Tuesday, Joseph Lambert, the president of Haiti’s senate, which hasn’t sat for more than a year and a half, reportedly tried to have himself sworn in as president. The plan was scuttled after gunfire broke out around the parliament building, the New York Times said.
Henry became prime minister on July 20, two weeks after Moise’s death, and after taking the post from interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph. Henry -- a former doctor and health minister -- has been trying to build political support to stay in power until new presidential and legislative elections can be held, likely some time next year.
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