Haiti transition council names former senate leader as president

By Thomson Reuters Apr 30, 2024 | 11:40 AM

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti’s transition council on Tuesday named Edgard Leblanc, the former senate president, to head the body instated last week as it seeks to bring security back to the violence-wracked Caribbean nation.

Leblanc’s naming follows weeks of political deadlock and in-fighting following the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry while an armed conflict surged in the capital, marking a difficult path ahead for the council.

The transitional body is formed by seven voting members and two non-voting observers. Leblanc won the nomination with four votes, including his own, in favor, though tensions were still evident in a ceremony announcing the decision.

The council also tapped Fritz Belizaire, former youth and sports minister, as prime minister.

Michel Patrick Boisvert, who served as finance minister under former Prime Minister Ariel Henry, has been filling the role on an interim basis. Belizaire’s nomination must be confirmed by a declaration in Haiti’s national gazette.

The council has also been tasked with appointing a cabinet, co-signing orders and establishing a provisional electoral council that will be tasked with paving the way to Haiti’s first elections since 2016.

Per Haiti’s constitution, the country should elect a new president by Feb. 7, 2026.

(Reporting by Harold Isaac and Sarah Morland; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle)