Haitian Prime Minister resigns amid fuel price protests

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 16, 2018

In a speech to the Lower Chamber that was broadcast live on television, Lafontant defended his tenure but said that Haiti's President Jovenel Moise had accepted his resignation.

Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned Saturday after widespread protests thwarted his attempts to increase the nation's fuel prices.

Haiti's president says he will appoint a new prime minister as soon as possible following the resignation of the country's second highest official.

But the plans sparked three days of riots between 6 and 8 July, with seven people killed and dozens of businesses looted.

The rise in fuel prices triggered protests all around the capital, Port-au-Prince, with demonstrators barricading roads, looting stores, and setting cars on fire.

As the session began, chamber president Gary Bodaeu wrote on his Twitter account that the legislature "is at a crossroads in history; it must assume its responsibilities".

Mr Lafontant had suspended the price hike after the protests erupted last week, but disturbances continued and calls for the prime minister to resign grew from the opposition and some business groups.

Mr. Lafontant, a 57-year-old doctor who took office in March 2017, had said the price hikes of 38% to 51% for gasoline, diesel and kerosene were needed for Haiti to balance its budget.

Government officials agreed to reduce subsidies for fuel in February as part of an assistance package with the International Monetary Fund.

Lafontant's replacement will be nominated by Moise and ccnfirmed by the Senate.

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