The Haitian authorities announced that they had foiled, on Sunday, a planned coup d’état targeting the disputed President Jovenel Moïse, who claimed to have escaped an assassination attempt.
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This “coup attempt” involves a judge of the Court of Cassation and an inspector general of the Haitian national police, detailed the Minister of Justice, Rockefeller Vincent, in a press conference.
Twenty-three people were arrested in total, said Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe, also to the press.
“They had contacted high-ranking police officers at the National Palace whose mission was to arrest the president, to bring him to this house in Petit Bois. [lieu de leur arrestation dans la capitale] and facilitate the installation of a new provisional president who would have made the transition ”, detailed the head of government.
Speech already written
The prime minister of the country in deep crisis added that, among the documents seized, was the speech that the judge had planned to deliver to become this new provisional president, in a transitional regime.
Earlier in the morning, Jovenel Moïse explained that the perpetrators of the foiled coup were after his life.
“I thank the person in charge of my security at the Palace. The dream of these people was to make an attempt on my life. Thank God, we haven’t seen that. This plan was aborted, ”said Mr. Moïse.
The Haitian head of state was speaking on the tarmac at Port-au-Prince airport, surrounded by his wife and Joseph Jouthe. He then flew to the seaside town of Jacmel, for the opening of the carnival.
The director general of the national police, Léon Charles, said money and weapons had been seized, including two M14 assault rifles, a mini Uzi, three 9mm pistols and several machetes.
Mr. Moïse maintains that his term as head of the Caribbean country runs until February 7, 2022.
February 7 yes, but which one?
But this date is denounced by a good part of the Haitian population, according to whom the five-year mandate of Mr. Moïse comes to an end a year earlier, that is, this Sunday, February 7, 2021.
This date disagreement arose from the fact that Jovenel Moïse had been elected in a poll canceled for fraud, then re-elected a year later.
The country sank further into the crisis throughout 2020, deprived of a parliament and plagued by violence.
Isolated, President Moïse governs by decree, fueling growing mistrust among the population.
Port-au-Prince was the scene on Sunday of sparse demonstrations punctuated by some clashes with the police.