Prime Minister of Haiti, Claude Joseph has thanked President Jovenel Moise for extending his tenure as head of the government for another 30 days.
“While recognizing the enormity of the challenges of the moment, I am convinced that with the commitment of solidarity and the frank collaboration of all members of the Government, we will continue to rise to the task.,” Joseph said in a statement as he “warmly” thanked Moise “for having kindly placed his trust in me to lead the interim Government”.
Last weekend, Moise announced he was “renewing” the mandate given to Joseph “for the same duration” even as he acknowledged that “the time has come to find a favourable outcome to this crisis which has lasted for 35 years”.
“Together, we can do it,” Moïse wrote on his Twitter account.
The constitutional referendum in Haiti that had been scheduled for June 27, had been postponed “sine die” after the country experienced an upsurge in the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
It would have been the first referendum in the country since 1987. It was unilaterally proposed by the Moise administration even as the opposition maintained calls to boycott the event.
Moise had said that the referendum was necessary as the government moves to reform the constitution. He has been facing calls for his resignation and has been ruling by decree after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed and following disputes on when his own term ends. The presidential, legislative and local elections are scheduled for September.
In April, Moise named Joseph as the new prime minister, after the holder of the post, Joseph Jouthe announced that he has resigned, as the country faced a spike in killings and kidnappings.
Jouthe had served as prime minister since March 2020.
In his statement, accepting the 30-day extension, Joseph said the government was again inviting “the friends of the opposition to seize the outstretched hand of the Head of State, to sit at the table of dialogue with a view to the conclusion of an agreement leading to the establishment of a Government of national understanding”.
President of the Upper House, Joseph Lambert, reacting to the extension said that “the reappointment of Prime Minister Claude Joseph could be seen as a decision of wisdom. The time for a political agreement which will finally bring the Government of national unity”.
But one opposition leader, André Michel, said the “renewal of Claude Joseph is a waste of time at a time when the State is incapable of securing the country.
“No agreement is possible with Jovenel Moïse,” he said, adding “neither cohabitation, nor elections”.