Martine Moise, wife of slain President, returns to Haiti
Martine Moise, the wife of Haiti’s assassinated president who was injured in the July 7 attack at their private home, returned to the Caribbean nation on Saturday following her release from a Miami hospital.
Her arrival was unannounced and surprised many in the country of more than 11 million people still reeling from the assassination of Jovenel Moise in a raid authorities say involved Haitians, Haitian Americans and former Colombian soldiers.
Martine Moise disembarked the flight at the Port-au-Prince airport wearing a black dress, a black bulletproof vest and a black face mask. Her right arm was in a black sling as she slowly walked down the steps of what appeared to be a private plane. She was greeted by interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph and other officials.
Earlier this week, she tweeted from the Miami hospital that she could not believe her husband was gone “without saying a last word. This pain will never pass.”
On Friday, government officials announced that Jovenel Moise’s funeral would be on July 23 in the northern Haitian city of Cap-Haitien and that his wife was expected to attend.
Group: Let chosen PM form government
Earlier Saturday a key group of international diplomats issued a statement urging Ariel Henry, the designated prime minister, to form a government following Moise’s killing.
Joseph has been leading Haiti with the backing of police and the military even though Moise had announced Joseph’s replacement a day before he was killed.
Joseph and his allies argue that Henry was never sworn in, though he pledged to work with him and with Joseph Lambert, the head of Haiti’s inactive Senate.
The statement was issued by the Core Group, which is made up of ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the U.S., France, the European Union and representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
The group called for the creation of “a consensual and inclusive government.”
“To this end, it strongly encourages the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government,” the group said.
U.S. officials could not be immediately reached for comment. A U.N. spokesman declined comment except to say that the U.N. is part of the group that issued the statement. An OAS spokesman said: “For the moment, there is nothing further to say other than what the statement says.”
Henry and spokespeople for Joseph did not immediately return messages for comment.
Robert Fatton, a Haitian politics expert at the University of Virginia, said the statement was very confusing, especially after the U.N. representative had said that Joseph was in charge.
The question of who should take over has been complicated by the fact Haiti’s parliament has not been functioning because a lack of elections meant most members’ terms had expired. And the head of the Supreme Court recently died of COVID-19.
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