Murder of a President: On assassination of Jovenel Moise

Haiti needs to hold both legislative and presidential elections soon for a legitimate government

Now, Haiti stares into an uncertain future. According to the Constitution, the President of the Supreme Court should take charge. But the Supreme Court chief died of COVID-19 last month. There is no legislature as the 2019 elections have been postponed. For now, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph has taken charge. But Moïse had fired him two days before his death and nominated Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon, for the post. Mr. Joseph is now consolidating the government, but Mr. Henry has asked him to step down, signalling that another political crisis is taking shape in the midst of security worries. This is not the time for another power struggle. Haiti’s politicians and military should take a phased approach of uncovering the truth, stabilising the country and ensuring the formation of a legitimate administration. The government’s immediate priority should be to get to the bottom of the assassination. If foreign nationals were involved in the attack, as the police have claimed, Haiti should get international help in the investigation. And Haitian leaders should not allow the vacuum left by Moïse’s assassination to destabilise the country further. Part of the problems Haiti faces is its inability to hold free, fair and credible elections in time and ensure a peaceful transition of power. Interim Prime Minister Joseph, Mr. Henry and other leaders should come together and hold legislative and presidential elections at the opportune time to ensure that a stable government with popular legitimacy is in place to address the myriad problems the country is facing.

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