Haiti PM’s resignation ‘necessary’ after bribery scandal

Image copyright AFP Image caption Roland Noel was last October appointed as Prime Minister

The leader of Haiti’s Senate says Prime Minister Roland Noel has no choice but to resign over allegations that he accepted a bribe from a bankrupt airline and bid on a deal with a Russian bank.

His comments follow a request from a vote of no confidence in his government by a group of six senators.

The group announced it was launching an open-ended protest after the vote.

They say they are not seeking a particular candidate but a minister whose party is credible.

The prime minister’s government has said that he was “indignified” and “vindicated” after being formally charged with involvement in the case and that it will not resign.

Mr Noel, who has been in office since June, is accused of signing off on a deal in 2005 with a Ukrainian airline that owed the Haitian government $7m, even though it had already been seized.

The senators say this occurred despite the fact that Mr Noel, who was then an airline executive and acting deputy premier, took a £16,000 bribe in cash.

The senators have also demanded that Mr Noel withdraw his nomination for further negotiations with Vnesheconombank over a funding programme, and end his “political job” of administering public contracts, including public contracts for China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

The senators said they were not looking for specific government figures, but that an “institutional person” who would “offer new ideas to build the government”.

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