Haiti’s Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who has led the country since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, has agreed to step down, The Washington Post reported on Monday (July 19). Joseph is ceding the position to Ariel Henry, whom Moïse appointed as prime minister two days before his death but has yet to be sworn in.
Speaking with The Post, Joseph said he’s giving up prime minister duties “for the good of the nation” and to honor Moïse’s wishes.
“Everyone who knows me knows that I am not interested in this battle or in any kind of power grab,” he told the outlet. “The president was a friend to me. I am just interested in seeing justice for him.”
The news follows a statement from the Core Group on Saturday (July 17), which urged the “formation of a consensual and inclusive government.”
The Core Group is made up of ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the U.S., France and the European Union, as well as representatives from the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
“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 of international diplomats said.
The Core Group’s statement was issued just hours after Martine Moïse, the late president’s wife, returned to Haiti. Last week, she shared photos of herself recovering at a Miami hospital for injuries she sustained in the attack.
“I… still do not believe that my husband has gone like this before my eyes without saying a last word to me,” she mourned her late husband. “This pain will never pass.”
The Haitian government will hold a funeral for Moïse this Friday (July 23) and, the Associated Press reports, several honorary events are planned for this week in the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince.