Senate votes in favour of a new prime minister for Haiti

The law makers voted by a 17-3 margin with nine abstentions, to support Dr. Garry Conille a gynecologist who served as an aide to the former United States president, Bill Clinton.

He had also worked for the United Nations since 1999 in countries such as Haiti, Ethiopia, and, for a few months, in Niger

Conille is a seasoned development worker and  holds a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina and a doctorate from the State University of Haiti, he

After last year’s earthquake, Conille worked as chief of staff for Clinton in his position as U.N. special envoy. The former U.S. leader also is co-chairman of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which is in charge of coordinating earthquake reconstruction efforts.

Martelly nominated Garry Conille, after the Senate had earlier this year rejected economist and businessman Daniel Rouzier for the post and in August voted by a 16-14 margin against former justice minister Bernard Gousse, who was accused of prosecuting supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The debate to ratify Conille, which lasted about six hours, centered on questions over his residency qualifications. Government officials in Haiti are required to have spent five consecutive years in Haiti under the constitution but French and Haitian Creole versions of the document don’t specify when the residency period begins. Conille’s job had taken him out of Haiti for years.

“(We’re) going to give Haiti a new prime minister,” Jean Joel Joseph, a member of the ruling Unity party, said before the vote.

Conille will assume responsibilities as the other co-chairman on the reconstruction panel, which has drawn heavy criticism for making little visible progress since the January 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people and left more than a million others homeless.

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