PORT-AU-PRINCE – The new prime minister of Haiti won on Tuesday the support of lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies for his plan of government, in a session that went on for 18 hours and which confirmed him as head of the administration.
The plan of government presented by Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, a doctor without any previous political experience who was designated as prime minister by President Jovenel Mose, obtained 95 votes in favor, six against and two abstentions following a long debate that began Monday an hour an a half late and had numerous interruptions.
In presenting his general policy, the new prime minister promised to make every effort to guarantee the sustained economic growth of the poorest country in the Americas.
“We have decided to speed our country’s progress to make it an emergent economy while ensuring the rule of law, a unified society and a renewed public administration,” Lafontant said.
According to the new prime minister, his basic goal is to create a responsible government able to organize the country and make sure its citizens are educated and guided by a sense of solidarity.
The Chamber of Deputies’ vote of confidence came after his plan of government was passed by the Haitian Senate on March 16, with 20 votes in favor, seven abstentions and no votes against, following a session of more than 14 hours.
The new Cabinet is made up of 18 ministers, including five women.
Lafontant replaces Enex Jean-Charles as prime minister after the latter resigned when Jovenel Moise became president last February 7.
The new prime minister is a member of the American College of Physicians and has no political experience, which took many sectors of the country by surprise.
Jovenel Moise took office last Feb, 7 as the new president of Haiti for a five-year term, thus bringing to an end almost a year and a half of paralysis in a country still recovering from the devastation caused in October 2016 by Hurricane Matthew.
The new government has many challenges ahead including soaring inflation, the high cost of living, a cholera epidemic and the high unemployment rate.