He portrays himself as a united figure who will heal a sad country after the president is assassinated. But just days after signing the agreement to lead the transitional government, the acting prime minister of Haiti was accused of participating in the killings this week.
The drama intensified when the chief prosecutor of Haiti asked the judge to prosecute the interim leader Ariel Henry on Tuesday, saying that telephone records showed that Henry had made two calls with a major suspect in the murder, and it was in the presence of President Joe. Several hours after Jovenel Moïse was arrested. Killed by the killed team July is in the bedroom of his residence.
In response, Henry fired the prosecutor Bedford Crowder and the attorney general. His office called the allegation a “baseless innuendo” and added that he received “countless calls of all kinds” that night. People worry about his safety.
Senator Joseph Lambert, an old-school politician, then used the chaos Try to take the oath of office To the vacant position of the President. After a gun battle broke out near the parliament building, the attempt failed, and the diplomat urged him to step back.
As political tensions intensify, this Caribbean country of 11 million people is grappling with the aftermath of a disaster. The big earthquake last month, Worsening poverty, declining economy and widespread gang violence. Business people say that the government did not respond to these challenges or solve Moïse’s murder, but was swallowed up by a vicious power struggle.
A business executive who was interviewed by the Financial Times in the capital, Port-au-Prince this week, said: “I’m not sure if we will know who doesn’t.” He was referring to the murder of Moise. “Every faction is busy destroying its rivals-this is a struggle for political survival.”
Most people agree that the trigger for the allegations against Henry was the cross-party agreement he signed a few days ago to lead the interim government until new elections are held at the end of 2022.
Another local businessman said: “The agreement is about to be signed, and they want something to try to break it.” “It’s totally, 100%, an attempt to break the agreement.”
A senior diplomat based in Port-au-Prince added: “This is obviously politically motivated and made by the people of Jovenel, who are afraid of being excluded by the government.”
Henry is a trained neurosurgeon who was appointed prime minister by Moise shortly before his death. He won the support of the international community and is regarded as one of the few viable leadership options.
Decades of corruption scandals and abuse of power have discredited the political class in Haiti. Moise’s failure to hold elections left 10 senators as the only remaining elected state officials.
One aspect of the power struggle is “young people“, a supporter of the murdered president. Among them is his widow, Martina, who was injured in her husband’s attack and is now planning to run for president. This group, which also includes the fired Attorney General Rockefeller Vincent, is seeking a quick Election to prevent the loss of their power.
The other camp is Henry and an alliance that includes the movement of Michele Mattelli, who was the president of the musician who ruled Haiti in 2011-16. They are in favor of postponing the election to allow time to build influence.
A third group of traditional politicians, including Lambert, are competing for positions behind the scenes, hoping to obtain lucrative national positions.
So far, international powers have supported Henry. Ambassadors from the so-called core group, which includes the United States and four other countries, as well as the United Nations and the Organization of American States, issued a statement of support on Wednesday after he was accused, supporting his efforts to form a broad-based interim government.
But the news concealed differences within the group regarding Henry’s strategy to stay in office and postpone the election. A diplomat said: “Obviously, he is planning to extend his time in office. This has not been discussed.” “The plan should be an election in three months.”
Although business leaders and diplomats believe that Henry has few other options, they worry about his lack of results.
Gang violence continues to be unscrupulous, and powerful mobs control large shanty towns in Port-au-Prince-kidnapping and extortion at will. It is said that many gangs have connections with politicians. One of the most powerful gang leaders, former police officer Jimmy Chérizier (Jimmy Chérizier) has tremendous power.
According to data from the International Monetary Fund, Haiti’s economy is expected to grow by only 1% this year because the inflation rate will exceed 20%. With nearly two-thirds of the population living in one of the most unequal societies in the region, social tensions are increasing.
“This is a very difficult time,” said Jessica Hsu, an American who has lived intermittently in Haiti for 20 years. “You have a country that doesn’t really invest in its people, and what you’ve experienced in recent decades is migrating from rural to urban areas to find work. The shortage of gasoline does not help, and the gangs are insecure… it has an impact,” she added.
“Now that we have an earthquake, the countryside can only fend for itself.”
Jacky Lumarque, president of Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince, said that gangs have occupied the nearby Martissant area for several months and blocked a key intersection. “Our employees from Martissant cannot go to work,” he said. “Our students are trying to come back, but due to the political situation, kidnappings and people being attacked, we only have one-third capacity.”
He added: “People think that Jovenel Moïse is still absent from power.” “The Prime Minister’s lack of leadership will not help, and now he is not in a high position because of the suspicion that he was involved in the murder. The overall sentiment is a complete depression.”