Just days after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti, a high-stakes battle for control of the country intensifies, and Senate President Joseph Lambert is among those fighting for power.
Although the Haitian parliament is in a state of dysfunction – with only 10 out of 30 senators because the terms of the other 20 have expired – a majority of the remaining lawmakers on Friday signed a resolution calling for a new government to replace the current prime minister. , Claude Joseph. They said Mr Lambert, who also enjoys the support of several political parties, is expected to become provisional president.
“He seems to be quite politically intelligent,” Laënnec Hurbon, Haitian sociologist and researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, said of Lambert.
Mr. Lambert, 60, is from the town of Jacmel in southern Haiti. An agronomist by training, he is a seasoned politician who was elected to the lower house of Parliament in 1995, before winning a seat in the Senate in 2006. He is currently in his third term as President of the Senate.
Mr. Hurbon indicated that Mr. Lambert had initially been close to the Haitian Party Tèt Kale, whose name means “Bald Head”, which supported Mr. Moïse as well as his predecessor Michel Martelly. But Mr. Hurbon said that Mr. Lambert had always managed to make good graces with the other parties.
In 2019, Mr. Lambert, who had been dismissed as Prime Minister, announced that he was joining the opposition to Mr. Moïse, according to the newspaper. Novelist. When Mr Lambert took the presidency of the Senate in January, he criticized Mr Moïse’s policies but also said he wanted to cooperate closely with the president to find solutions to the country’s problems.
“He always knows in perilous, difficult situations like this, to make the right speech and therefore to seduce the people,” Mr. Hurbon said of Mr. Lambert, adding that he had been surprised to see such a great coalition of opposition parties. supporting Mr. Lambert’s power offer.
Friday’s Senate resolution said Mr Lambert is expected to become provisional president until January, when a new parliament will be elected. He also said that Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon, is expected to replace Mr Joseph, the current acting prime minister.
Lilas Desquiron, Minister of Culture in Haiti from 2001 to 2004, declared that Mr. Lambert was “a talented politician” much appreciated by officials.
“He’s someone who plays for himself but plays with a lot of intelligence,” she said.