Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille abruptly resigned Friday after less than five months on the job in a political setback for President Michel Martelly, whose struggle to fill the top government post has hampered earthquake reconstruction and other development efforts.
Conille handed in a two-sentence letter of resignation,
according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because
he had not yet been authorized to publicly release the information. No
successor has been announced.
Conille, a physician who previously served as an aide to
Bill Clinton in the former U.S. president's role as U.N. envoy to Haiti,
enjoyed support among foreign officials and non-governmental organizations. But
Haiti is sharply divided politically, and he was a target of occasional
criticism in the opposition-controlled legislature.
Conille was ratified by the Haitian parliament in October
after Martelly's two previous picks for the post failed to win support from
The delay in appointing someone to run the day-to-day
affairs of the government slowed the appointment of lower-ranking officials and
delayed efforts to rebuild the capital and surrounding area from a devastating
January 2010 earthquake.
His resignation may have been prompted in part by a
dispute among government officials over whether any of them have dual
nationality, which the nation's constitution prohibits for senior government
officials. Many officials in Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean spend
considerable time overseas.
A commission of lawmakers has been investigating
allegations that Martelly administration officials may have citizenship in the
U.S. or elsewhere. Conille and other officials have turned over their passports
and other documents to the commission but the findings of the investigation
have not been announced.
Conille told The Associated Press after a news conference
last week that he and Martelly were on good terms despite rumors to the
"I have a good working relationship with the
president," he said. "Haiti is a big country of rumors. I think we
have a very frank and honest relationship where we discuss things. I think a
lot of people sometimes have a vested interest in creating a distance between all
members of government so you hear that we have problems. ... I would basically think that it's mostly