Haiti names health minister as interim PM

Florence Duperval Guillaume's temporary appointment comes after weeks of violent protests against delayed elections.

    Guillaume has played a key role in rebuilding Haiti's medical services and combating a cholera epidemic [AP]
    Guillaume has played a key role in rebuilding Haiti's medical services and combating a cholera epidemic [AP]

    Haiti's health minister has been named as the country's interim prime minister, replacing Laurent Lamothe, who resigned following several weeks of protests.

    Florence Duperval Guillaume's temporary appointment on Sunday is part of an effort to resolve a mounting political crisis over long-delayed elections.

    Lamothe's resignation a week ago came after international warnings from the United States and the United Nations that the impoverished Caribbean nation was on the brink of political chaos again.

    Haiti rocked by anti-government protests

    Guillaume's temporary appointment was announced in an email signed by Enex Jean-Charles, the secretary of the Council of Ministers.

    A career health worker whose official title is Minister of Public Health and Population, she has overseen efforts to rebuild the country's frail medical services, including new hospitals and combating a cholera epidemic and long-running HIV-AIDS treatment.

    Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince has endured a growing number of violent demonstrations in recent weeks during which protesters have demanded the holding of elections that were expected in 2011 and the resignations of Lamothe as well as Martelly.

    Parliament will shut down if elections are not held before January 12, leaving the country without a functioning government until presidential elections in late 2015.

    Haiti, the poorest and most unequal country in the western hemisphere, is still recovering from an earthquake five years ago that levelled much of Port-au-Prince. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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