Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has finally stepped down making way for long-pending democratic elections in the Caribbean country still recovering from the wounds of the 2010 earthquake.
It seems Lamothe has been forced out of office, because a special presidential commission last week had recommended that Lamothe should resign along with the Supreme Court’s chief justice and members of the Provisional Electoral Council.
Legislative and municipal elections in Haiti have been delayed by more than three years. President Michel Martelly now needs to name a new prime minister and his choice should be approved by the parliament.
The Caribbean country was supposed to go to polls in October this year, but a key legal proposal related to electoral process hit a roadblock, triggering street protests across the country.
In January last year, a top United Nations’ official in Haiti, Mariano Fernandez Amunátegui, urged the country to hold elections by the end of that year. In April this year, the United States threatened to withhold US$300 million in aid if there were no elections.
Even the United Nations said it was finding it extremely difficult to go ahead with its Haiti Stabilization Mission, known locally as MINUSTAH.
President Michel Martelly is ruling by decrees, with several seats – including 20 senators, 99 deputies, and 140 municipal positions – remaining vacant.
Analysts say elections are urgent to win back the confidence of international donors and address the concerns about balance of power.
Haiti now needs to hold elections by 12 January, a tight deadline the Caribbean country is less likely to meet.