In the wake of the Haitian president’s assassination, one of the big questions is who will succeed him. But the answer isn’t immediately clear, according to Jean Wilner Morin, the president of the national association of Haitian judges.
He told CNN that the line of presidential succession in the country was now murky because normally the president of the Supreme Court would normally be called upon to fill the void, but he recently died after contracting Covid-19. René Sylvestre’s funeral was due to have been held Wednesday. It is not yet known whether the service will proceed.
For the acting prime minister Claude Joseph to formally replace the president, he would have to be approved by Haiti’s parliament, said Morin. But without recent elections, the parliament is effectively defunct and “therefore constitutionally, he cannot replace the president of the republic.”
Morin said there is one other precedent dating back to 2015, when the president of the National Assembly stepped up to fill the leadership vacuum. But again, currently there is no official in that role either. However, with a third of the Senate still in place, Morin suggests that perhaps officials will look at whether Senate leader Joseph Lambert might be an option.
This post has been updated.