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Prime Minister Céant Revocation Another Episode of Zero-sum Game Politics

It is a tradition of modern Haitian politics that the prime minister serves as a buffer to the president and is usually the one to be sacrificed when the government is under pressure. Jean Henry Céant is that buffer. As Haitian president, Jovenel Moise’s pick for prime minister — in the hope that he was the right man to reverse the country’s socio-economic crisis — Céant took office in September 2018. Now, six months later, the Haitian parliament sealed his fate, just as it did with his predecessor Jacques Guy Lafontant.

On March 17, the lower chamber handed down a vote of no-confidence, as 96 deputies voted to revoke Céant’s position. A minority of six lawmakers voted in his favour, while three others abstained:

The crisis has undoubtedly worsened since Céant took charge — but even though his measures were struggling to take effect, the prime minister showed interest in tackling its underlying cause. At times, he also displayed leadership, like in his address to the nation after the street protests, in which he adopted a more conciliatory tone than Moise, whom many felt missed the opportunity to show that he had a good grasp of the nation’s troubles. As far as the public was concerned, it was the prime minister’s speech that brought some appeasement after the 10 day-riots, not the president’s.

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