Haiti president announced formation of new government under Prime Minister Evans Paul

Jan 20, 2015 10:25 IST

Haitian President Michel Martelly on 18 January 2015 announced the formation of new government that will be led by newly elected Prime Minister Evans Paul.

Martelly appointed 18 ministers and 16 secretaries of state to the new cabinet of Haiti. Carel Alexandre was appointed as the head of public security. The new planning minister is Yves Germain Joseph.

Despite promising a new government, Martelly kept several current cabinet members in their posts including the Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Health, Tourism, Education and Public Works and appointed his allies to the key positions of Planning Minister and Secretary of State for Public Security.

The new cabinet was announced amid the political unrest against Martelly's rule on the impoverished Caribbean country. Martelly has been in power since 2011, but he has failed to end Haiti's long-running political turmoil and protesters have called on street protests aimed at resignation of Martelly.

In order to end the street protests, Martelly on 16 January 2015 announced to build a broad-based government. Martelly urged anti-government demonstrators to keep street protests peaceful as he tries to steer the country toward new elections.

Haiti's parliament was dissolved in the second week of January 2015 after the last-minute negotiations to extend the terms of the members of Haiti Parliament collapsed. Former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe was also forced to resign on 14 December 2014.

Background
Haiti has a long history of coups, uprisings and dictatorships and now the dissolution of parliament raised fears that the nation is again on a way to violent unrest. Washington fears that a political collapse can spark mass migration of Haitians to the United States.

Haiti remains heavily dependent on US financial aid. It is the poorest nation of the America and is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in January 2010 that destroyed large parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

There have been no legislative or municipal elections in the country for three years. However, the elections could be held in 2015 but President Martelly must first form an Electoral Council first.

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