Port Au Prince – Three days of national mourning have been declared in Haiti following the recent death of former Prime Minister Gérard Latortue.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s office said the days of national mourning will be from March 5 to March 7.
During these days the national flag will be lowered and radio and television stations will feature shows and music reflecting the mourning period.
Latortue, a former interim prime minister of Haiti who helped rebuild and unite the country after a violent coup in the mid-2000s died on February 27. He was 88.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry said Latortue’s death was a tremendous loss for the nation and described him as “a reformer, a convinced patriot, an eminent technocrat, a voice of change, of development [and] a supporter of democracy”.
Latortue was a former exile who was sworn in as interim prime minister in March 2004 following months of bloodshed and political strife that left more than 300 dead and culminated in the ouster of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The turmoil at the time prompted the United States military to escalate its mission in Haiti.
In February 2006, Haiti held general elections to replace the interim government of Latortue, who was succeeded by former Prime Minister Jacques-Édouard Alexis.
The provisional president, Boniface Alexandre, was succeeded by former President René Préval.
Latortue had previously served as Haiti’s foreign minister, as a business consultant in Miami and as an official with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in Africa. (CMC)