Haiti council chooses interim prime minister

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The Independent US

A US-backed advisory council has chosen Gerard Latortue, a former United Nations official and business consultant, as Haiti's new prime minister.

A US-backed advisory council has chosen Gerard Latortue, a former United Nations official and business consultant, as Haiti's new prime minister.

The decision is a step toward a transitional government and eventual elections. An official announcement was expected today, but two opposition officials confirmed yesterday that Mr Latortue, who served as foreign minister in 1988, was the final choice to replace Yvon Neptune. Mr Latortue will work with interim President Boniface Alexandre. Mr Neptune stayed in his post after Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former president, fled the country on 29 February. Opponents of Mr Aristide have demanded that Mr Neptune be replaced.

Mr Aristide, however, has insisted from exile in Africa that he is still president of Haiti, saying he was removed from office by the US government. State Department officials have denied the claim.

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