Transitional Council Installed In Haiti

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A transitional council tasked with bringing political stability to Haiti was installed Thursday in the capital of this Caribbean country, which is marred by gang violence and soaring hunger and poverty.

The freshly sworn-in council will appoint a new prime minister and Cabinet, and create a road map to eventually hold long-awaited general elections. Its mandate expires Feb. 7, 2026, when a new president would be sworn in.

The council is made up of eight men and one woman. Seven members have voting powers.

Here’s a glimpse at who they are:

Smith Agustin — Former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, legal expert and sociologist. He is tied to the EDE/RED political party. He recently replaced former nominee Dominique Dupuy, a UNESCO ambassador, who resigned following political attacks and death threats.

Dr. Louis Gérald Gilles — The former senator will be the representative of the signatories of the Dec. 21 agreement within the council. That group is associated with outgoing prime minister Ariel Henry. Gilles is linked to the New Orientation United to Free Haiti party.

Fritz Alphonse Jean — Economist and president of INHOPP (Haitian Institute of Public Policies.) He is a former central bank governor and ex-interim prime minister. He has frequently travelled abroad seeking support from Haitian communities. He is affiliated with a civil-society group known as the Montana Accord.


With fear and hope, Haiti warily welcomes new governing council as gang-ravaged country seeks peace

Edgard Leblanc Fils — Former president of Haiti’s Senate from 1995 to 2000. Fils finished second to Jocelerme Privert in the parliamentary indirect presidential election of February 2016. He is general coordinator of the Organization of the Struggling People. He represents the January 30 political group.

Laurent Saint-Cyr — President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Haiti and executive director at Haiti’s Alternative Insurance Company.

Emmanuel Vertilaire — The judge of the Cap-Haïtien court is a specialist in criminology and anti-corruption efforts. He is linked to the Pitit Desalin political party and the National Peasants’ Network.

Leslie Voltaire — Veteran politician who was a member of the administrations of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and René Preval. His influence dates back more than 30 years. He is a former minister of education and of Haitians living abroad. He ran for the presidency himself in 2010, but claimed later the vote was rigged against him. He is linked to the Fanmi Lavalas party.

Régine Abraham — Agronomist and Cabinet director at the Ministry of the Environment. She rose to the position after the resignation of René Jean-Jumeau due to his alleged involvement in the squandering of PetroCaribe funds. She has worked for the World Bank and the European Union.

Frinel Joseph — The evangelical pastor became prominent as treasurer of Haiti’s electoral council, representing the country’s religions. Four years later, in 2020, the Conference of Haitian Pastors accused him of being too focused on his personal political objectives at the council. He and another seven members of the council resigned due to local pressure. The pastor is also famous at home for his lectures on spirituality.

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