Claude Joseph, who has officially led Haiti as interim prime minister since President Jovenel Mossé’s death, claimed in a Washington Post interview published on Monday that he has agreed to stand aside, giving power to a competitor supported by the international community.
The announcement looks to put an end to a power struggle between Joseph and Ariel Henry, a 71-year-old neurosurgeon who was named prime minister by Mose two days before the murder but has yet to be sworn in.
On July 7, assassins armed with assault weapons invaded Mose’s private house in the hills above Port-au-Prince and fatally shot him. The killing has thrown the already unstable country into disarray, coming amid a rise in gang violence that has uprooted thousands of people and hindered economic activity in the Americas’ poorest country.
According to the Washington Post, Joseph and Henry spoke secretly during the last week, and he decided to stand down on Sunday “for the benefit of the nation” and is prepared to hand over authority “as soon as feasible.”
“Everyone who knows me understands that I am not interested in this struggle or any type of power grab,” Joseph stated.“I had a friendship with the president. I’m only concerned in seeing justice served for him.”