Haiti Gets New PM Again

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News Americas, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Fri. May 18, 2012: Haiti has a new prime minister again. He is Laurent Lamothe.

Lamothe, a close friend and former business associate of President Michel Martelly, officially took over the second toughest job in Haiti on Wednesday as he and his 21-member Cabinet were sworn-in.
“I have the ambition of working and being the prime minister that takes care of the people’s needs,’’ Lamothe, 39, told The Miami Herald. Lamothe was Martelly’s fourth pick, and the second prime minister to be ratified by parliament in six months. Former Prime Minister Garry Conille resigned after only four months amid friction with Martelly.
Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today Lamothe and stressed his commitment to the principles and core values of the hemispheric organization.

“I’ve taken note of your statements on general policy that emphasize the importance of good governance, strengthening democracy, eliminating extreme poverty, respecting human rights and modernizing the state in order to achieve strong institutions,” Secretary General Insulza wrote in a letter sent to Prime Minister Lamothe. “These key elements reflect the principles and values of the Member States of the OAS, of which Haiti is a founding member.”

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Lamothe has served in the government of Haiti as Minister of Foreign Affairs since October 2011. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of the company Global Voice Group.

He is the son of Louis G. Lamothe, a doctor in Spanish literature and the founder of the Lope de Vega Institute, and of Ghislaine Fortuney Lamothe, a painter, and was born in Port-au-Prince. He grew up in an academic and artistic, but also athletic environment. His elder brother, Ruben, served as captain of the Haitian Davis Cup tennis team for some time. A tennis player himself, Laurent Lamothe represented his country at the Davis Cup in 1994 and 1995.

Lamothe left Haiti to complete his tertiary studies in the United States. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in political sciences at Barry University in Miami, he turned to business management and obtained a Master’s degree with an honorable mention from Saint Thomas University.

Two years after obtaining his Masters degree in business management, he founded the telecommunications company Global Voice Group with his business partner, Patrice Baker. The company started out as a small telecommunications company and is today a worldwide provider of technological solutions in emerging markets and developing countries.

Through his company, Global Voice Group, he introduced telecoms governance technologies in Africa which allow regulation agencies to manage the sector in terms of control, tariff equity and transparency. This earned him a nomination as Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in May 2008.

His involvement in the political and social life of Haiti subsequently led him to accept the position of Special Advisor to Haitian President Michel Martelly.

In September 2011, Lamothe and former United States President Bill Clinton co-chaired the Presidential Advisory Council for the Economic Development and Investment in Haiti launched by President Martelly on September 8, 2011 to help redevelop Haiti by making it more attractive to foreign companies and investors.

Subsequently, Lamothe was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti. On October 26, 2011, he made his first speech as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs during his installation ceremony, which took place in Bois-Verna, Haiti.

On March 1, 2012, Lamothe was designated as the Prime Minister of Haiti by President Michel Martelly following the resignation of Prime Minister Garry Conille.
On April 10, 2012, the Senate endorsed his nomination with 19 votes in favor to 3 votes against.

The Chamber of Deputies endorsed him 62 to 3 on May 3, 2012. He was formally appointed on May 4, 2012.