Haiti: Slain President Moïse’s Successor Died Of COVID-19

Jovenel Moïse
  • In the wake of the Haitian president’s assassination, one of the big questions is who will succeed him.

The question of who will succeed the slain Haitian President, Jovenel Moïse, may not elicit a straightforward answer, according to Jean Wilner Morin, the president of the national association of Haitian judges.

He told CNN that the line of presidential succession in the country was now murky because normally the president of the Supreme Court, René Sylvestre’s, would normally be called upon to fill the void, but he recently died after contracting COVID-19.

For the acting prime minister Claude Joseph to formally replace the president, he would have to be approved by Haiti’s parliament, said Morin, adding that without recent elections, the parliament is effectively defunct and “therefore constitutionally, he cannot replace the president of the republic.”

Read also: Haiti President Jovenel Moïse Assassinated

Morin said there is one other precedent dating back to 2015, when the president of the National Assembly stepped up to fill the leadership vacuum. But again, currently there is no official in that role either.


However, with a third of the Senate still in place, Morin suggests that perhaps officials will look at whether Senate leader Joseph Lambert might be an option.

Meanwhile, Haiti’s acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph has declared a “state of siege” in Haiti in a message to the nation, saying he did not want the nation to “plunge into chaos” following the assassination of President Moïse on Wednesday.

Joseph said the decision to declare a “state of siege” was made at an extraordinary council of ministers meeting Wednesday morning.


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Under Haitian law, there are three levels of emergency, starting with a “state of emergency,” followed by a “state of siege”, and finally the highest level of emergency, which is a “state of war.”

US President Joe Biden, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, among other World leaders have condemned Moïse’s assassination.


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