Haiti premier resigns, allowing Moise to form government

Port-au-Prince (AFP) - Haitian Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles resigned Thursday, opening the door for the country's new president, Jovenel Moise, to form a new government.

A law professor and adviser to previous presidents, Jean-Charles, 57, was appointed prime minister in March by then interim president Jocelerme Privert.

Moise, who was sworn in on Tuesday, is expected to quickly name his successor.

Due to a constitutional amendment that came into effect as Moise took office, the Haitian president no longer needs approval from parliament for his choice of prime minister. The need for this approval in the past has led to lengthy government paralysis.

The future prime minister however will still need his policies approved by the legislature -- which in this case is a formality, since Moise supporters have a majority in both chambers.

Moise, a 48-year-old banana exporter who has never held political office, was former president Michel Martelly's hand-picked choice to lead the poorest country in the Americas.

Haiti is struggling to emerge from a major cholera outbreak, with an estimated 30,000 cases expected this year, and is still suffering the effects of the January 2010 earthquake, with tens of thousands of people still camping in tents without proper sanitation.

The government is also dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which caused $2.8 billion in damage and left more than 1.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance when it struck in October.