Haitian government announces major cabinet reshuffle

PORT-AU-PRINCE Wed Apr 2, 2014 11:40pm EDT

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe speaks during a session called ''Expanding Cross-Sector Coordination in Haiti'' at the Clinton Global Initiative 2013 (CGI) in New York September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe speaks during a session called ''Expanding Cross-Sector Coordination in Haiti'' at the Clinton Global Initiative 2013 (CGI) in New York September 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

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PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Haiti's prime minister announced a new cabinet, drafting in 10 new ministers in a major reshuffle designed to build political support amid controversial negotiations over long overdue parliamentary and municipal polls.

The reshuffle, announced via social media website Twitter, involved almost half the 22-member cabinet.

It saw the return of former Minister of Economy and Finance Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie, who resigned last year, complaining of a lack of support from other ministers to make public finances more transparent.

For the third time since taking office two years ago Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe chose a new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Duly Brutus, who has been Haiti's ambassador to the Organization of Americas States in Washington for the last decade.

The Secretary of State for Public Security, Reginald Delva, was also promoted to head the important Ministry of the Interior in charge of domestic security.

The ministries of Education, Culture, Defense and Communications were also reassigned. In a sign of openness, the Ministry of Youth and Sport was entrusted to Himmler RĂ©bu, a frequent critic of the government.

The new cabinet was officially announced on Wednesday evening by Lamothe in a series of Twitter messages.

Elections to fill 20 seats in the 30-member Senate, as well as the Chamber of Deputies and municipalities across the country, are two years overdue.

A pact passed by the Chamber of Deputies proposed that the elections be held on October 26, but has yet to pass the Senate.

(Editing by David Adams and Clarence Fernandez)

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