Haiti lawmakers approve second nominee for post of prime minister

Haiti senate approves Enex Jean-Charles for Prime Minister post

It was second time lucky for interim President Jocelerme Privert after Parliament Friday approved his choice for prime minister less than a week after rejecting United States-trained economist Fritz Jean.

Lawmakers in this French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country gave the nod to Professor of Administrative Law, Enex Jean-Charles, who has also served as an advisor to several heads of state.

The Senate had unanimously ratified his policy statement late Thursday.The Lower House Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of Jean-Charles serving as a transitional government’s prime minister by a 78-1 vote with two deputies abstained.

Well known in politics since 1988 as “the friend of everyone”, the new interim prime minister is a graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia, as well as the University of Brussels.

Since 1991, the 55 year old is Professor of Administrative Law at the Faculty of Law and Economics (FDSE) of the State University of Haiti and has published numerous articles and research reports on the administrative policy development, local participation and decision-making in administrative matters. He is the author of the Haitian Administrative Law Manual.

On Sunday, Privert watched as legislators voted down Jean and the Provisional Electoral Commission (CEP) that is needed to organise the twice-postponed presidential runoff vote following President Michel Martelly’s departure from office on February 7 without any successor being elected.

Last week, Sandra Honore, the top U.N. envoy for Haiti, told the United Nations Security Council that Haiti was at a “critical juncture” in consolidating its democracy and the next few weeks would be decisive.

“It is with a feeling of a heavy load in an extremely difficult situation that I accepted the post of prime minister,” Jean-Charles had said after his nomination was announced on Tuesday.

Privert, who had earlier said he will wait for Jean-Charles to get the nod from parliament before naming members of the CEP, will now seek to move ahead with plans for development as well as fresh presidential elections scheduled for April 24.

Before his nomination was approved Jean-Charles said his government would apply the “technical recommendations” of a special electoral commission that examined the disputed October 25 first round presidential vote and made various proposals to improve polling and overall transparency.

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