Haiti – PM-designate

The new president of Haiti, Michel Martelly, has formally designated his first prime minister. He is Daniel Gérard Rouzier. M. Rouzier does not seem to have a background in party politics. He is a businessman.

The appointment must now be approved by both chambers of parliament. Previously, this has proven difficult. There was an 18-month period from 1997-1997 when there was no PM because no nominee gained approval. Equally, in 2008 President Préval had considerable difficulty having his nominee approved.

According to both the Wikipedia page and the page of the Haitian parliament, former Président Préval’s INITE party has 33 of the 100 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. However, according to Le Matin, there is a so-called Groupe des parlementaires pour le renouveau (GPR) that has the support of a total of 52 deputies, including the INITE deputies. So, this group seems to have a majority, though it is difficult to know how cohesive it is likely to be. The situation in the Senate is beyond my comprehension. The Senate’s own webpage lists 37 senators, yet, as far as I can tell, the constitution only allows 30. Anyway, the aforementioned article, which is certainly based on better information than I have, states that the GPR has the support of 16 senators, again giving it a majority there too, but one short of a quorum that is required for a final decision.

Given the PM-designate has to be approved personally by both houses and then the government’s programme has to be approved by both houses too and given too that President Martelly is, in theory, opposed to INITE and, presumably, the GPR, then the process of designating M. Rouzier is likely to be difficult.

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