Haitian President Michel Martelly named the minister of health as interim prime minister as he seeks to break an impasse triggered by a new election law. Public Health and Population Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume, a physician who has overseen the country’s response to a cholera epidemic that has sickened more than 700,000 people, will take over immediately, the secretary of the council of ministers, Enex Jean-Charles, said in a statement. She will hold the post for a maximum of 30 days.
Guillaume replaces Laurent Lamothe, who resigned Dec. 14 amid a dispute over an election law that the opposition says will give the president excessive influence over elections scheduled for October. The lower house of parliament has approved the bill, while the Senate has refused to take it up. Martelly is expected to name a short list of permanent prime minister candidates today.
The country, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, in January will mark the fifth anniversary of an earthquake that killed more than 200,000 and decimated much of the capital, Port-au-Prince.