Haiti’s New Prime Minister Hospitalized For ‘Slight Illness’

Garry Conille, Haiti’s newly selected Prime Minister, was hospitalized late on June 8 for an unknown issue a few days after he arrived in the country. The office of the prime minister has only put out a short statement stating that he was feeling unwell after a busy week, thanking those who had visited him, and expressed that he was in stable condition. Conille was selected for the role on May 28.

“Following a week of intense activities, the Prime Minister … had a slight illness on the afternoon of Saturday June 8, 2024 and went to the hospital for treatment,” his office said in a statement, Reuters reported. “His situation is stable for the moment.”

According to the Associated Press, a source close to the Prime Minister, speaking anonymously due to a lack of authority to address the press, reported that he appeared to have difficulty breathing before being taken to the hospital. The source noted that Conille, who suffers from asthma, sometimes uses an inhaler.

Officials, including Frantz Elbé, Haiti’s national director of police, and Bruno Maes, UNICEF’s Haitian representative, were seen entering the hospital. In addition, several SUV’s with tinted windows were seen blocking the street as onlookers gathered to see what was going on. 

Following a complicated selection process, Conille was chosen as Haiti’s Prime Minister and faces a difficult set of tasks, including addressing widespread violence initiated by the country’s gangs, who have increasingly advocated for a voice in the decisions affecting the country. Although the arrival of a Kenyan-led UN peacekeeping force is imminent, The Guardian reports that some are critical of yet another foreign force on Haitian soil. 

Conille, a former UNICEF regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, was previously Haiti’s Prime Minister from October 2011 to May 2012 and also served as a top aide to former President Bill Clinton after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake.

Conille was voted in as Prime Minister in late 2011 by Haiti’s parliament, but tensions with the president at the time, Michel Martelly, forced Conille to resign, Haitian Times reports. 

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