Haiti’s new interim prime minister, Gerard Latortue, dismissed criticism that his new thirteen-member cabinet was partisan, as the ministers took the oath of office in a ceremony at the National Palace on Wednesday, March 17.
“This is a government of transition. It is a way of showing that it is possible to govern this country differently and to create a new relationship between the state and its people… This is a government that is nonpartisan and I invite everyone to judge it by its results,” he said.
Political parties in Haiti on Wednesday raised concerns about the composition of the new cabinet.
The opposition Convergence Coalition of Political Parties and Civic Groups has questioned why it has not been included in the new cabinet and the Lavalas Family Party warned that its exclusion could further divide the country.
The thirteen-member cabinet largely consists of technocrats and includes Yvon Simeon as foreign minister; Bernard Gousse, a lawyer, as justice minister; Henri Bazan, President of the Haitian Association of Economists, as finance minister; and former General Herard Abraham, as interior minister.
Latortue also told the ceremony, closely guarded by heavily armed United States marines and special forces, that his government will fight corruption and promote good governance.
“The time has come to turn our backs on dictatorship,” he said.
The prime minister also promised that a creditable justice system would be created and announced that the country would have a provisional electoral body charged with organizing free elections within days.
Latortue also said he would invite foreign companies to conduct an audit of public finances and state companies.