Dueling Prime Ministers Fight for Power in Haiti

Dueling Prime Ministers Fight for Power in Haiti

The shocking assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise by a squad of gunmen on Wednesday left two people claiming to be the interim prime minister and dueling for power: neurosurgeon Ariel Henry, former minister of the interior, and former foreign minister Claude Joseph.

Haitian politics are not simple at the best of times, and the power vacuum created by Moise’s murder is creating pure political chaos. Joseph technically held the position of interim prime minister at the moment of Moise’s death, but the day before he died, Moise named Henry to take over as permanent prime minister.

Both men firmly claimed to be prime minister on Thursday. Joseph, who declared martial law and a “state of siege” in the wake of the assassination, argues that Henry was merely “designated” as prime minister by the slain president but never formally took office. 

Joseph further contends that his interim appointment

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