Haiti PM shakes up Cabinet for 3rd time in 2 years

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti's prime minister used Twitter on Wednesday to announce he was replacing about half of the 22-member Cabinet, marking the third major government shake-up in less than two years.

There had been talk since November that Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe wanted to change ministers because of grumblings in the government that some of them couldn't pull their weight.

But the decision to form a new Cabinet wasn't taken until after the executive and legislative branches and opposition parties signed a broad agreement last month that, among other things, seeks to organize parliamentary and local elections before year's end.

Perhaps the most unusual appointment is Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie as finance minister. She resigned from that job last year for reasons neither she nor officials ever disclosed, although a media report said she left because she didn't receive the support she wanted for bringing transparency and other reforms to the office.

Lamothe's office also named new ministers for interior, foreign affairs, education, defense, environment and sports.

It didn't immediately give reasons for the changes.

The new interior minister will be Reginald Delva, a key post that oversees domestic security and local government and could play a role in the upcoming elections. Delva previously served as secretary of state for public security.

This is the third sizeable Cabinet reshuffle since Lamothe became Haiti's No. 2 official in May 2012. It's the fifth change of its kind since President Michel Martelly took office in 2011.

The elections are more than two years overdue. They will fill 20 seats in the 30-member Senate, all the seats in the 99-member Chamber of Deputies and 140 municipal posts. The agreement proposes to hold the election Oct. 26.

The Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved the accord Tuesday. It still needs to pass the Senate.

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