Haiti’s Martelly suffers new setback
Haiti’s new President Michel Martelly suffered another set back Tuesday after a majority in the Senate rejected his choice of primer minister. This is the second time in two months that his choice of prime minister has been rejected.
REUTERS - Lawmakers rejected Haitian President Michel Martelly’s new choice for prime minister on Tuesday, blocking his efforts to install a government and move ahead with rebuilding a chronically poor country shattered by last year’s earthquake.
Sixteen members of the 30-seat Haitian Senate voted to reject Bernard Gousse, a controversial lawyer and former justice minister. The vote capped a long and rancorous debate in the upper house of the nation’s parliament.
It was the second rejection of Martelly’s choice for premier in less than two months and marked a messy start to his young presidency. His previous candidate for the prime minister’s post, economist and businessman Daniel Rouzier, was rejected by the chamber of deputies on June 21.
Martelly, a former pop star, came to office with no previous political experience. He was elected in March on populist promises to turn Haiti into a Caribbean success story after decades of crushing poverty and dictatorship.
Martelly’s background as an irreverent and successful star of Haiti’s catchy Kompa carnival music helped bolster his support among voters fed up with politics as usual in Haiti.
The rejection of Gousse, who served in an interim government that came to power in the politically volatile nation in 2004, came as little surprise after 16 members of the Senate signed a recent public statement opposing his selection as prime minister.
The same 16 senators voted against Gousse on Tuesday night, dashing his chances to head Martelly’s government.