* Lamothe sees "fresh start" with new gov't
* Haiti still rebuilding after 2010 earthquake
By Brian Ellsworth
CARTAGENA, Colombia, April 14 Haiti's foreign
minister Laurent Lamothe said he could be fully approved as the
country's new prime minister within 30 days, potentially ending
a political stalemate that has threatened to limit
reconstruction after the 2010 earthquake.
The country has been without a prime minister since February
when the last incumbent resigned amid disputes with President
Michel Martelly over earthquake reconstruction contracts.
That sparked concerns in the international community that
political infighting could slow efforts to rebuild a nation that
lost as many as 300,000 people in the disaster two years ago.
"This will bring a new government, it will bring renewed
hope, a fresh start," said Lamothe in an interview late on
Friday in Cartagena, Colombia, where he is attending the Summit
of the Americas. "It means that the country will finally be able
to get started and get going."
The nomination of Lamothe, a former telecommunications
entrepreneur, has been approved by the senate but is still
pending approval by the lower chamber of the legislature. He
must also gain approval of his plans for the government.
U.N. diplomats have called on Haitian politicians to stop
bickering and form a stable government that can ensure advances
Two years after the earthquake, piles of concrete, steel and
debris litter the streets of the capital Port-au-Prince, where
more than half a million people still live in tent camps.
Almost as many people have been sickened in Haiti in a
cholera outbreak that killed more than 7,000 since October 2010.
The upcoming rain and hurricane season may cause further
The United Nations warned last month that a lack of aid
money is putting hundreds of thousands of displaced people at
risk by limiting capacity to provide food and water, prevent
crime and provide medical attention for cholera cases. Haiti
received only around half of what it requested last year.
"We need every dollar that was promised to come in, and we
need additional funds," said Lamothe.