Haiti’s new leader with international support to take command

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“Negotiations are still in course,” Pierre said, adding that Joseph would go back to being minister of foreign affairs. There was no immediate comment from Joseph. In an audio recording, Henry referred to himself as prime minister and called for unity, saying he would soon announce the members of what he called a provisional consensus government to lead the country until elections are held.

Ariel Henry, who was designated prime minister by Moïse before he was slain but never sworn in, will replace the country’s interim prime minister, Haiti Elections Minister Mathias Pierre told The Associated Press. It wasn’t immediately clear how quickly Claude Joseph, who has been leading Haiti with the backing of police and the military since the July 7 assassination of Moïse, would step down. “I present my compliments to the Haitian people who have shown political maturity in the face of what can be considered a coup. … Our Haitian brothers gave peace a chance, while leaving the possibility that the truth could one day be restored,” Henry said.

“Now it is up to all the national leaders to walk together in unity, towards the same goal, to show that they are responsible.” The political turnover followed a statement Saturday from a key group of international diplomats that appeared to snub Joseph as it called for the creation of “a consensual and inclusive government.”

“To this end, it strongly encourages the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government,” the statement from the Core Group said. The Core Group is composed of ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the U.S., France, the European Union and representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States. On Monday, the U.N. issued a statement calling on Joseph, Henry and other national stakeholders “to set aside differences and engage in constructive dialogue on ways to end the current impasse.”

The U.N. added that Joseph and Henry made significant progress in the past week and that it supports dialogue to find “minimal consensus” for holding fair legislative and presidential elections. Monique Clesca, a Haitian writer, activist and former U.N. official, said she doesn’t anticipate any changes under Henry, whom she expects to carry on Moïse’s legacy. But she warned Henry might be viewed as tainted because of the international backing that preceded his taking power. “There is not only a perception, but the reality that he has been put there by the international community, and I think that’s his burden to carry,” she said.

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