Tempers flared in Haiti’s parliament Tuesday as lawmakers resorted to pushing and shoving each other and swearing to vent frustrations over an act of vandalism that stunned the nation in the early hours of the morning.
A group of opposition lawmakers threw chairs, desks, papers — anything they could find — on the lower chamber’s floor and doused some items with oil in an attempt to block a scheduled vote on Prime Minister nominee Fritz William Michel and his Cabinet.
“Get out! Get out of here!” one lawmaker was caught on VOA Creole video screaming to an opposition lawmaker as a colleague grabbed him by the suit jacket and shoved him aside. The opposition deputy, Deus Deronneth, responded by laughing while others screamed insults at each other.
Haiti has been without a prime minister since March, when Jean Henry Ceant was forced to resign after a no-confidence vote, leaving the country’s political and financial affairs in limbo. President Jovenel Moise has repeatedly called on lawmakers to move forward on his subsequent nominees.
In response, the opposition has used various tactics to block the process. They have succeeded in halting the process until now.
“We acted this morning to prevent the ratification process of the new government from happening, because the motivation of the majority (party) lawmakers is not a legitimate one (in our view),” Deputy Deronneth, who represents the southern district of Marigot, told VOA Creole.