Haiti’s government has formally appointed Ariel Henry as prime minister, nearly two weeks after President Jovenel Moise was gunned down in a murder plot that likely extends far beyond the Caribbean country’s borders.
Henry, a 71-year-old neurosurgeon, was tapped by Moise to be the new prime minister just days before he was assassinated but was not then formally sworn in to the position.
Henry assumed the role of de-facto leader of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation in a ceremony in the capital Port-au-Prince, where he began his inaugural speech with a minute of silence for the slain president.
The ceremony on Tuesday took place as official memorial services began for Moise, who was killed on July 7 in the middle of the night at his private residence in Port-au-Prince by a group of more than 20 mostly Colombian mercenaries.
Meanwhile, Moise’s wife, Marine Moise, who was also shot, arrived back in Haiti over the weekend after being treated for her wounds at a hospital in Miami.
Haiti has been struggling with lawlessness fueled by violent gangs, and Henry said he wants to create conditions for as many people as possible to vote in elections, currently scheduled for September.
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