Haiti transition council to be installed on Thursday, says PM office

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, April 24 (Reuters) – A ceremony to install a stalled presidential transition council in Haiti will take place Thursday morning on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince, the office of outgoing Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement noted that the ceremony will be hosted at the prime minister’s official office, known as Villa d’Accueil, not the downtown National Palace, which has come under repeated fire from armed gangs in recent days.

Earlier on Wednesday, powerful gang leader Jimmy “Barbeque” Cherizier insisted that talks over Haiti’s political future must include the gangs.

The installation of the nine-member presidential transition council that will take over from Henry has been delayed for weeks amid intense behind-the-scenes jockeying for control among various political factions.

The establishment of the council is seen as a key first step toward ending the chaos that has engulfed the Caribbean nation, largely blamed on rival gangs fighting over turf, especially in the capital, as well as mostly absent state institutions.

The council is expected to name an interim prime minister and help set up a government that will eventually organize national elections.

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