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New Haiti government sworn in

A new government headed by Prime Minister Gerard Latortue has been sworn in in Haiti.

Last Modified: 17 Mar 2004 16:52 GMT
Latortue hopes the new cabinet will restore stability

A new government headed by Prime Minister Gerard Latortue has been sworn in in Haiti.

The new cabinet comprising 13 ministers was inaugurated by President Boniface Alexandre at the national palace.

 

Latortue said the government he had formed was non-partisan and would be judged on its achievements.

 

He said that within days the country would have a provisional electoral body charged with organising free elections.

 

Most of the ministers, including three women, are technocrats.

 

The cabinet does not include any political party leaders, though several of its members are ideologically close to the opposition.

 

One, women's affairs minister Adeline Magloire Chancy, had worked in a government of Aristide's Lavalas party in the 1990s.

  

Former armed forces chief Herard Abraham, 63, heads the interior and national security ministry, a key post in a deeply polarised country that has been rocked by deadly violence in recent weeks.

 

Moderate

   

The retired general, who headed the armed forces from 1988 to 1991, is considered a moderate politician.

  

Aristide's (L) presence in nearby
Jamaica is said to unsettle Haiti

In 1990 he had ensured the armed forces did not stand in the way of Aristide's election, and the next year he opposed a coup attempt.

 

He had recently joined calls for the resignation of Aristide, who after a weeks-long armed uprising was forced into exile in the Central African Republic on 29 February.

  

French-educated economist Yvon Simeon, 66, heads the foreign ministry. Simeon, who is close to Aristide's political opponents, has notably worked as a charge d'affaires in France and Belgium and as a consultant in Paris.

     

Latortue, 69, has vowed the interim government, which could remain in place for as long as two years, would work toward restoring democracy to Haiti.

Source:
AFP
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