Claude Joseph to Resign as Haitian Prime Minister 12 Days After Jovenel Moise's Assassination

Claude Joseph will resign as Haiti's acting prime minister after a brief power struggle with the nation's appointed prime minister, Ariel Henry.

Joseph announced his intentions in an interview with The Washington Post, and the Associated Press confirmed the news with another Haitian official.

Joseph was serving as the interim prime minister when Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on July 7. Joseph, who also serves as the country's minister of foreign affairs, has been ruling the country with the support of the military since Moïse' death.

Moïse appointed Henry as prime minister two days before he was killed and before Henry, a 71-year-old neurosurgeon, could be sworn into office. Joseph argued that it meant he was to lead the country as Henry had no right to the leadership position without the swearing-in ceremony.

Speaking to the Post, Joseph said, "Everyone who knows me knows that I am not interested in this battle or in any kind of power grab. The president was a friend to me. I am just interested in seeing justice for him."

It's unclear when Henry will take over as prime minister.

"Negotiations are still in course," Haiti Elections Minister Mathias Pierre told the AP Monday.

Joseph's resignation comes after a statement made Saturday by Core Group, an organization of international diplomats that called "for the formation of a consensual and inclusive government" in Haiti.

"To this end, it strongly encourages the designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry to continue the mission entrusted to him to form such a government," Core Group said.

The organization is made up of ambassadors from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the U.S. and France as well as the European Union and representatives from the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Haitian Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph
Claude Joseph is to resign as Haiti's prime minister 12 days after President Jovenel Moïse's assassination. In this photo, Joseph speaks during a press conference at his residence on July 16 in Port-au-Prince. Valerie Baeriswyl/AFP via Getty Images

Henry will replace Joseph to honor the wishes of the Moïse, Pierre said.

Joseph has been leading Haiti with the backing of police and the military since the July 7 assassination of Moïse.

Pierre added that Joseph would go back to being minister of foreign affairs.

Joseph could not be immediately reached for comment, and Henry did not return a message for comment.

The change follows the statement from Core Group that appeared to snub Joseph.

The statement was issued hours after Moïse's wife, Martine, arrived in Haiti on Saturday aboard a private jet clad in black and wearing a bulletproof vest. She has not issued a statement or spoken publicly as the government prepares for the July 23 funeral that will be held in the northern city of Port-au-Prince.

Claude Joseph Speaks at Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Haiti's interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said that he isn't "interested in this battle or in any kind of power grab," and that he will resign his post. Above Joseph gives a press conference in Port-au-Prince, Friday, July 16, the week after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s on July 7. Joseph Odelyn/AP Photo