WASHINGTON — A Haitian Senate leader said Thursday the prime minister should resign after lawmakers voted his government into special measures last week, the latest sign that President Jovenel Moise’s ability to govern is challenged.
Senate President Léon Hector Laverdure said in an interview with The Associated Press that he wants Mr. Moise to step down from his Cabinet with immediate effect so a new prime minister can be chosen.
Laverdure said the prime minister was completely out of control with the appointment of Senate President Moise Pierre. The opposition had opposed him.
“My heart is in Ouanaminthe,” Laverdure said, referring to the remote, southern border region that has faced the most violent instability.
Laverdure was referring to the position of Senate president. Pierre of course has retained the position and is keeping a close eye on the prime minister.
Pierre said the premier has failed to implement the policies outlined in last week’s Special Measures for Democracy and Development to institute democratic institutions and create jobs, while end and plundering of resources, land and freedom of movement.
He criticized the mayor of Ouanaminthe as the spokesman of the economic crisis.
Pierre said the acting prime minister has canceled state-owned companies, especially those controlled by the military, as part of the plunder of the resources and built new military and police bases.
Pierre said he does not approve the takeover of the private television station, Groupe Fleuris, because of its critical journalism. He said he has been opposed to the “Rauls” Moncada provincial government since Mr. Moise was elected president last year.
But he said Mr. Moise’s political style undermines the political independence and sometimes the constitutionally mandated accountability.
“The only actor in politics is the president, and with his support in the Legislature, he has the ability to overcome whatever pressures against him,” Pierre said.
Laverdure said that the failure of Mr. Moise to govern adequately in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in 2010 affected the transitional period.
“The presidency and the Legislature have failed to set up an environment where a leader can implement reforms, especially when we have massive unemployment,” Laverdure said.
As the death toll from the hurricane has risen, the senate president said that he fears the collapse of the junta since last week will lead to violence, anarchy and an interruption of roads and electrical supplies.
He said a commission set up by the president to look into possible assassination attempts against Mr. Moise is too little too late.
“We need a government that can stay there a long time without stepping down,” Laverdure said.
Earlier this week, members of a newly elected senate intervened and ousted the justice minister and replaced him with lawyer Leslie Oudlirat.
The government says that Parliament restored the government and was in charge.
But the government has said Mr. Moise can call for a new election when he wants. If Parliament wanted to impeach him, it could do so but he has not criticized them.
The Senate dismissed Justice Minister Antoine Arenstam, a supporter of Mr. Moise’s opponent in last year’s election.