After marathon session, Haiti lawmakers back new govt

Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Lawmakers at Haiti’s lower house voted in favor of the new government in the early hours of Sunday after a marathon session lasting more than 10 hours.

New prime minister, Jean-Henry Ceant, had responded to questions through the night before majority lawmakers demanded an end to the debate over opposition objections.

In a heated atmosphere, 84 deputies voted in favor of the new prime minister while five voted against, and four abstained.

Haiti’s Senate had approved the new government’s general policies following a more than 15-hour session that concluded early on Saturday, with it then being put to a vote of confidence at the Chamber of Deputies.

A notary by training who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2010 and 2016, Ceant was named to the post by President Jovenel Moise on August 5.

But in a sign of discord between the legislative and presidential branches, it took a month to reach agreement on his 18-member cabinet.

Tension remains high in Haiti after a series of riots against rising fuel prices gripped Port-au-Prince in July that forced the resignation of prime minister Jack Guy Lafontant.

Mass protests which turned deadly erupted on July 6 after a government unveiled major fuel price hikes — 38 percent for gasoline, 47 percent for diesel and 51 percent for kerosene.

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