Haiti's president assassinated

2 months ago 17
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In this October 22, 2015 file photo, Jovenel Moise speaks during a press conference in Port-au-Prince.In this October 22, 2015 file photo, Jovenel Moise speaks during a press conference in Port-au-Prince. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Haiti was in turmoil Thursday as police hunted for the suspects behind the assassination of its president and questions swirled over who would take charge of the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Four suspects connected to Wednesday's killing of President Jovenel Moise were killed by police overnight, and another two were detained, officials said.

Haiti's ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, described the suspects as foreign "mercenaries" and said he believed they had received assistance from Haitian nationals, but officials have divulged few public details on the attack.

Moise's death takes place against a background of extreme violence in the capital Port-au-Prince which has claimed the lives of many citizens in recent weeks. Haiti was already dealing with political turmoil, a growing humanitarian crisis, and a worsening Covid-19 epidemic.

The assassination also leaves a huge power vacuum in Haiti. Its parliament is effectively defunct and two men are simultaneously claiming to be the country's rightful prime minister.

There is another possible succession scenario, too, said Morin:

"The precedent is that in 2015, it was the President of the National Assembly who replaced the President of the Republic. Today we don't have a President of the National Assembly, but there is still a third of the Senate in Parliament and the third of the Senate is presided over by a former senator, named Joseph Lambert."
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