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Americas

Haitian president taps Clinton aide for PM post

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-06

Haitian President Michel Martelly (pictured) has tapped Garry Conille for the post of prime minister. Conille, a physician and aid to former US president Bill Clinton, also worked at the UN Development Programme in Niger.

AFP - Haiti's President Michel Martelly has tapped an advisor to ex-US president Bill Clinton to be his prime minister, in a third attempt to find a nominee who can win the backing of parliament.

Senate Speaker Rodolphe Joazile told AFP on Monday that Martelly had chosen physician Garry Conille for the key post, in a bid to end a three-month long impasse over the makeup of his fledgling government.

"I have just received a letter from the president naming Mr Conille," Joazile said, announcing Martelly's latest choice to head his cabinet.

Conille, 45, has been serving as chief of staff to Clinton, who as the UN special envoy for Haiti is a key player in how the country will spend millions of dollars donated by the world community for reconstruction.

Conille was educated in Haiti and received graduate training in health administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Fulbright scholar.

He has also worked as the United Nations Development Programme's resident representative for Niger.

Martelly, a popular former singer elected by a wide margin, was sworn in as president of Haiti on May 14 but nearly four months later he has not yet succeeded in putting his government in place.

The opposition-led parliament said no to his previous two picks for the top cabinet post -- businessman Daniel-Gerard Rouzier and legal scholar Bernard Gousse.

Martelly vowed to "change Haiti," upon taking office, promising to restore order and confidence in a country struggling to emerge from one of the most destructive earthquakes of modern times.

Much of the capital was leveled in a magnitude 7.0 quake in January 2010 that killed more than 225,000 people and left one in seven homeless, a devastating disaster for a nation that was already the poorest in the Americas.

The pace of reconstruction has been painfully slow for hundreds of thousands of traumatized survivors who lost everything and are forced to live in squalid tent cities around the still-ruined capital.

 

Date created : 2011-09-06

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