PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti — The Haitian National Assembly on Sunday elected Senate president Jocelerme Privert as the island nation’s interim president, one week after the departure of former president Michel Martelly.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as the UN and its partners in Haiti, welcomed the election.
“This election stems from the agreement signed on 6 February between Haitian stakeholders to preserve institutional continuity and further the electoral process,” said a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson.
Welcoming this crucial first step, the secretary-general encouraged all parties to work together towards the implementation of the roadmap contained in the agreement to ensure the return to constitutional normality.
“The secretary-general expresses his confidence that the stabilization of Haiti and the democratic process will continue in a peaceful and collaborative manner,” the statement concluded.
Privert will serve as interim president for 120 days. His predecessor, Martelly, left office on February 7 without a successor having been named. The second round of elections, scheduled for 24 January 2016, was subsequently postponed, following mass protests and the opposition’s reported refusal to participate in the process.
“[The] election is a fundamental step in the implementation of the political agreement for institutional continuity, signed on February 5 between the branches of the executive and legislative branches of power,” said the UN Special Representative in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, in a joint statement with other members of the international community represented in the so called ‘Core Group’ (Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, United States, European Union and Organization of American States).
The Group reiterated its invitation to all stakeholders to work together in achieving this political agreement, “to ensure the return to constitutional normality, stabilizing institutions of the republic, the appointment of a consensus prime minister and the continuation of the electoral process on time.”
The UN and its partners in Haiti also called on all stakeholders to uphold the best interests of the country, in a spirit of dialogue and compromise, and in a peaceful, violence-free climate.