Haitian Lawmakers Confirm Céant as Prime Minister
Lawmakers at 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 by a vote of 21-5, with it then being put to a vote of confidence at the Chamber of Deputies.
Céant was tapped to lead Haiti’s government following the forced resignation of Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant in July after his decision to raise fuel prices by as much as 51 percent sparked widespread civil unrest.
The population cried [for help] on the 6th, 7th of July,” Céant said. “The president heard them. Parliamentarians heard them. Everybody heard them. Today the populating is awaiting all of our responses.”
Lawmakers in both chambers used the confirmation hearing to advocate for projects in their communities, asking for roads, hospitals, drinking water. But there was also plenty of frustration.
Prime minster Céant faces a litany of challenges, from finding money to service Haiti’s debt to also addressing its deep social needs. He is also under pressure to launch an investigation into $2 billion that Haiti owes Venezuela as part of its discounted Petro Caribe oil programs.