Breaking News: Haiti's Prime Minister resigns in the middle of crisis
Posted by VOA on Saturday, July 14, 2018 Under: Haiti's Political Crisis
Haiti's Prime Minister, Jack Guy Lafontant, on Saturday gave his resignation to the President of the Republic Jovenel Moïse before facing a motion of censure in the Chamber of Deputies for the way he handled a failed attempt to increase fuel rates and the inaction of his government in the face of unrest against that measure.
According to Lafontant his resignation would be accepted by President Moïse.
The Chamber of Deputies, the Senate of the Republic and the private sector demanded the resignation of the prime minister for several days, due to the inability of the government to manage the country well.
With a possible motion of censure, the lower house could demand the resignation of Lafontant and the cabinet members in order to allow the appointment of a new prime minister, but Lafontant came forward.
The deputies, many of whom advanced their intention that Lafontant resign, summoned the prime minister to answer questions about the violent riots registered between July 6 and 8 in protest at the government's attempt to increase the prices of hydrocarbons.
During the three days of protests, about seven people were killed and dozens of businesses were looted or destroyed.
Hundreds of people blocked the streets with barricades and paralyzed Port-au-Prince and other towns since the afternoon of July 6, after the government announced - just when the population was watching a match of Brazil, their favorite team, at the World Cup - that the next day it would increase between 38% and 51% the prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to reduce subsidies to hydrocarbons.
In response to the protests, Lafontant suspended the increases the next day, but the riots continued and several shops were destroyed and looted and dozens of vehicles were burned, without the police being able to contain the violence.
Deputy Michel Moïse, a member of the majority group in the lower house and an ally of the government, told Radio Metropole that the bloc is willing to vote for censorship and inform the president of the republic, Jovenel Moïse, that he will not support Lafontant. .
Other sectors, such as business organizations, the federation of mayors and opposition parties, have also spoken out in favor of the resignation or dismissal of the prime minister.
A group of senators asked the president of that chamber yesterday to convene an emergency session to question Lafontant and possibly demand his dismissal and the formation of a new cabinet.
Lafontant, a 57-year-old doctor with no previous experience in public administration, began his duties in March 2017, after his appointment by President Moïse was approved by Parliament.