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February 7 Haiti Watch: Henry to speak, group to protest

This is a developing story. We will provide updates as new information emerges.

CAP HAITIEN — Embattled Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry plans to address the nation Feb. 7 on Radio Television Nationale d’Haiti, the same day scores of residents in Port-au-Prince plan a demonstration to demand that he leave office. 

Joseph Lambert, the president of the Senate will also speak, the Senate announced on social media.

Due to possible alterations throughout the day some schools and businesses in Port-au-Prince have closed and in the morning the streets were mainly empty. Scores of police officers are patrolling or stationed in some streets, like on Delmas, residents said. However, elsewhere like in Cap-Haitien all activities are as usual.

Henry said via Twitter late Feb. 6 that he plans to deliver his address on the looming date. He did not specify the time nor topics he will speak about in that message. 

Meanwhile, scores of residents are pushing him to leave, saying his time as prime minister has come to an end because late President Jovenel Moïse’s term would have ended on Feb. 7. Others also believe that Henry lacks legitimacy because of his alleged ties to suspects in the Moïse’s assassination.

“It’s time for him to go,” said Magalie Habitant, former director of the Metropolitan Collection of Solid Residues, on Scoop FM last week. “I can lead a protest if I want to. It’s my duty to do it. They did it against Jovenel Moïse. Why can’t I do it against them?”

Habitant, a Moïse supporter, was referring to when opponents of Moïse took to the streets to demand that the late president leave office last Feb. 7, 2021. At that time, many claimed that Moïse’s term was over then, saying that his five-year term started the same year he won the election, 2016, rather than when he entered office in 2017.

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