Haiti’s prime minister resigns

Former Haitiian Prime Minister Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant speaks at the National Palace during a ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
Associated Press / Dieu Nalio Chery, File

Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant has resigned after days of violent protests over a hike in fuel prices that left seven people dead.

Lafontant, who faced a motion of no confidence following the protests said he told Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies that he had sent President Jovenel Moise his resignation letter.

The deputies had called on the prime minister to answer questions after riots erupted from July 6 – 8 to protest the government’s attempt to raise fuel prices by as much as 51 percent as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Earlier this year, the French-speaking Caribbean nation signed an agreement with the IMF to carry out structural reform to promote growth. Fund officials had said getting rid of a fuel subsidy would free up cash to fund other needs, such as education, health and job creation.

However, last week the Washington-based financial institution suggested “a more gradual approach” to ending fuel subsidies which were expected to generate around US$300 million.

Shortly after Lafontant resigned, Moise, in an address to the nation, said his administration is doing all it can to respond to the demands of the public.

Moise said as head of state, he has issued instructions to every official in Haiti to work to ensure the safety of the lives and property of people across the nation.

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