The Long Road Back

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Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry formally installed a transition council this week that is to help usher the crisis-plagued Caribbean country toward long-overdue elections, Reuters reported.

Henry said the creation of the High Transition Council marks the “beginning of the end of dysfunction in our democratic institutions.”

The council is made up of three members representing Haiti’s political, business and civil sectors. It is expected to create a road map for the upcoming elections and select members of a provisional electoral council, as well as a committee to revise the country’s constitution.

Since early January, there have been no elected representatives in Haiti after the last lawmakers saw their terms expire. The country’s last presidential elections occurred in 2016.

The Caribbean nation has been mired in a political and humanitarian crisis following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. Henry took power shortly after Moïse’s murder.

The prime minister has pledged to leave office by Feb. 7, 2024, after postponing elections indefinitely in the wake of a devastating earthquake that affected the Southern Peninsula.

Haiti is also grappling with a severe security situation driven by violence from armed gangs. Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced because of gang violence that has skyrocketed following Moïse’s death.

In October, Henry pleaded for an international force to assist Haitian police in restoring order.

Even so, the request is currently being debated at the United Nations, where no country has pledged to command such a force.

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