PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – President Jovenel Moise, on Friday, installed his long-time friend of 20 years, Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, as Prime Minister-designate of the Republic of Haiti. Dr. Lafontant is a virtual unknown throughout Haiti and, although a doctor of an internal medicine, he has never held public office or a major executive role. He owns a private practice in Port-au-Prince and was named president of the local Rotary International for the city last summer.
“After a second round of consultations with the presidents of both Houses, I chose Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant as Prime Minister,” said President Moïse as he announced his pick. Dr. Lafontant was named prime minister by an executive order issued on Wednesday. By Thursday morning he was “installed” as prime minister.
It is only by a precedent set by former President Michel Martelly in 2015 that a “gap” in the Haitian Constitution has allowed a president to “install” a prime minister before the potential official, his/her government and policy declaration are ratified by the Parliament.
Ratification of a new government would require the votes of 16 senators and 60 members of the Chamber of Deputies. So far, the Constitutional “gap” has allowed a prime minister to begin utilizing resources of the State although not officially able to serve the State.
Jack Guy Lafontant, 56, married and father of three children, unknown to the political scene, has been pursuing his medical career for thirty years. He is the president of the Rotary Club of Petion-Ville since July 2016. He is an internist and gastroenterologist, professor of gastroenterology at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the State University of Haiti (UEH) and at the University of Notre Dame of Haiti (UNDH) and a member of the American College of Gastroenterology.