Haitian President Jovenel Moise and his wife have been assassinated in an armed attack at their home, the interim prime minister announced on Wednesday. Mr. Moise and his wife were killed during an attack, when his Haiti home was stormed by gunmen at 1 O’clock, in the morning (July 7).
Interim prime minister Claude Joseph said he was now in charge of the country and urged the public to remain calm, while insisting the police and army would ensure the population’s safety.
“The president was assassinated at his home by foreigners who spoke English and Spanish,” Joseph said.
Moise had been ruling Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, by decree, after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed in the wake of disputes, including on when his own term ends.
Jovenel moïse, 53, had been in power since February 2017.
Mr. Moïse’s time in office was rocky, as he faced accusations of corruption and was challenged by waves of often violent anti-government protests.
In addition to the political crisis, kidnappings for ransom have surged in recent months, further reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation.
Haiti also faces chronic poverty and recurrent natural disasters.
President Jovenel Moise faced steep opposition from swathes of the population that deemed his mandate illegitimate, and he churned through a series of seven prime ministers in four years. Most recently, Joseph was supposed to be replaced this week after only three months in the post.
In addition to presidential, legislative and local elections, Haiti was due to have a constitutional referendum in September after it was twice postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.