Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti's new 'consensus' government sworn in

Haiti government swearing in ceremony 19th January 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption President Michel Martelly (centre) and Prime Minister Evans Paul (right) at the swearing in ceremony

Twenty ministers and 12 secretaries of state in Haiti have delivered their oath of office at the National Palace in the capital Port-au-Prince.

President Michel Martelly praised the "pluralism" at the centre of the new government and said it was down to the "goodwill" of the opposition.

He had been ruling by decree since last Tuesday, when parliament was dissolved.

But opposition leaders have accused the president of failing to deliver in forming a consensus government.

Haiti's new government is headed up by Prime Minister Evans Paul, a former mayor of Port-au-Prince and an unsuccessful contender in the 2006 presidential elections when he received just 2.5% of the vote.

Among the newly sworn-in ministers are six members of the previous cabinet, including the ministers for foreign affairs, health and defence.

The new line-up also includes allies of the president appointed to key positions, such as Planning Minister Yves Germain Joseph and Secretary of State for Public Security Carel Alexandre.

President Martelly has been in power since 2011 and has pledged not to change the constitution to seek a second term.

His opponents accuse him of using the current crisis to promote his own candidate to succeed him in elections later this year.

Haiti remains heavily dependent on US financial aid, It is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in January 2010, in which large parts of the capital were destroyed.

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