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The Prime Minister of Haiti resigns – WSJ



PUERTO PRINCIPE, Haiti's Haitian Prime Minister

Jack Guy Lafontant

resigned on Saturday amid orders to resign over his handling of a failed plan to increase fuel prices that sparked a wave of deadly protests.

Mr. Lafontant told the Chamber of Deputies of Haiti that he sent the president

Jovenel Moise

your resignation letter Mr. Moise confirmed via Twitter that he had accepted Mr. Lafontant's resignation along with those of other cabinet members.

The abrupt resignation of the prime minister came before a vote on a motion of no confidence, Mr. Lafontant, a first step to asking that Mr. Moise appoints a new prime minister to form a cabinet to handle the crisis. The prime minister is the second highest official in Haiti after the president.

Mr. Lafontant answered questions about riots on July 6 and 8 that followed the government's attempt to raise fuel prices by up to 51% as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. At least seven people were killed and dozens of businesses were looted during the riots.

On the other hand, Mr. Lafontant took the opportunity to announce his resignation, while in several parts of Haiti small protests were held to demand the resignation of the head of state.

When the session began, Gary Bodaeu, president of the chamber, wrote on his Twitter account that the legislature "is at a crossroads in history, it must assume its responsibilities." Previously he had described the price increases as "inopportune" and "inoperative".

Mr. Lafontant suspended fuel price increases after the protests broke out last week, but riots continued and the prime minister's resignation requests grew, even from the opposition and some business groups.

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

Government officials agreed to reduce fuel subsidies in February as part of an aid package with the IMF. The agreement also included increased spending on social services and infrastructure and better tax collection in an effort to modernize the economy of one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere.

Mr. The replacement of Lafontant will be proposed by Mr. Moise and confirmed by the Senate.

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