Haitian president's choice for PM is vetoed

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The Independent US

Members of Haiti's parliament have rejected President Michel Martelly's choice for the next prime minister, plunging the country into political uncertainty as a new government struggles to get its footing.

The rejection of Daniel-Gerard Rouzier as prime minister is a major setback for President Martelly a month after he took office and assumed responsibility for leading reconstruction efforts in the wake of last year's devastating earthquake.

After several weeks of studying Mr Rouzier's paperwork and credentials, 42 members of the lower-level Chamber of Deputies voted against Mr Martelly's choice of prime minister while only 19 voted in favour. Three deputies abstained. Mr Martelly, a former musician, will now be forced to nominate somebody else, which could take weeks.

Mr Rouzier is a US-educated entrepreneur and an old friend of Mr Martelly. The President was "deeply disappointed" by parliament's decision but would accept it because he was a democratic leader, his office said.

Deputies opposed to Mr Rouzier's nomination accused him of tax evasion and not presenting a copy of the passport on which he regularly travels, raising questions over his citizenship and therefore his eligibility. The Haitian constitution bars high-ranking officials from having dual citizenship.