Haitian President Jovenel Moise announced on Sunday that Jean-Henry Céant will be the nation’s new prime minister.
“Following consultations with the Presidents of the two branches of Parliament, I made the choice of the citizen Jean-Henry Céant as the new prime Minister,” President Moise said in an official tweet.
The announcement comes three weeks after former Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned amid violent and deadly protests sparked by a proposed plan to significantly raise fuel prices. A former notary by profession, Céant has long been involved in Haitian politics and was a presidential candidate in 2016.
“I thank the President of the Republic for choosing me as his Prime Minister and welcome the commitment of the Presidents of both chambers,” Céant tweeted, referring to the two chambers of Haiti’s National Assembly. “I understand the scope of the task and the challenges that await me.”
Former Prime Minister Lafontant resigned on July 14 in front of the nation’s parliament before he was due to face a vote of no confidence.
Lafontant’s government came under fire after protesters took to the streets in early July in response to a controversial plan that would have increased the cost of gasoline by 38%, diesel by 47% and kerosene by 51%.
At least two people – a police officer and social leader – were killed in violent demonstrations in the capital Port-au-Prince, according to Yves Germain Joseph, the general secretary of Haiti’s National Palace.
The US Embassy in Haiti issued a security alert urging American citizens to avoid travel and instructed all staff to shelter in place. The embassy also requested additional US Marines and State Department security personnel to bolster security amid the riots.
“The security and safety of Americans are among our highest priorities,” The State Department said in a statement on July 10. “Local law enforcement and U.S. embassy security authorities will take appropriate measures to safeguard personnel and visitors.”
The State Department’s advisory was later downgraded from “do not travel” to “reconsider travel.”
The protests also caused several airlines to suspend flights to Haiti temporarily.