Transitional council in Haiti selects new PM for country under siege by gangs

29 May 2024, 00:04

Garry Conille
Haiti New Leadership. Picture: PA

Council member Louis Gerald Gilles said six out of seven council members with voting power chose Garry Conille.

Garry Conille has been named Haiti’s new prime minister, nearly a month after a coalition within a fractured transitional council had chosen someone else for the position.

The long-awaited move comes as gangs continue to terrorise the capital of Port-au-Prince, opening fire in once peaceful neighbourhoods and using heavy machinery to demolish several police stations and prisons.

Council member Louis Gerald Gilles told the Associated Press that six out of seven council members with voting power chose Mr Conille earlier on Tuesday. He said one member, Laurent St Cyr, was not in Haiti and did not vote.

Mr Conille, who is Unicef’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, previously served as prime minister from October 2011 to May 2012 under then president Michel Martelly.

He replaces Michel Patrick Boisvert, who was named interim prime minister after Ariel Henry resigned in late April.

Mr Henry was on an official trip to Kenya when a coalition of powerful gangs launched co-ordinated attacks on February 29, seizing control of police stations, shooting at Haiti’s main international airport and storming the country’s two biggest prisons, releasing more than 4,000 inmates.

He was locked out of the country by the attacks, with the airport in the capital remaining closed for nearly three months.

Gang violence is still surging in parts of Haiti’s capital and beyond as Mr Conille takes over the helm of the troubled Caribbean country awaiting the UN-backed deployment of a police force from Kenya and other countries.

In addition to picking a new prime minister, the council also is responsible for selecting a new cabinet and holding general elections by the end of next year.

By Press Association

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