Haiti's prime minister resigns amid deadly demonstrations over fuel prices

Haiti’s prime minister resigns amid fuel price hike fallout

Speaking to the lower house of Congress, Lafontant said President Jovenel Moise had accepted his resignation.

Haiti Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned Saturday, before being ousted by parliament after an announcement about a fuel price hike led to days of violent protests.

Reports differ on how many people have been killed in riots - at least two, three or seven - that happened over the last weekend.

Lafontant, who took office in February 2017, later announced the plan would not go ahead, but protesters still demanded his resignation. Over the past week, major roads have been blocked off, shops have been vandalized, and protestors have set fire to numerous tires.

The attempt to raise fuel prices was part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

A no-confidence vote in his leadership had been scheduled for Saturday, according to the Miami Herald.

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Lafontant suspended the fuel prices increases after protests erupted last week but the disturbances continued and calls for the prime minister to resign grew, including from the opposition and some business groups.

Moise said on Twitter he would address the country Saturday night "in a special edition on the National Television of Haiti". The World Bank said in a report past year that the richest 20 percent of Haitians were receiving 93 percent of the subsidies and that the country was spending 2.2 percent of its GDP on subsidies in 2014.

A relatively poor nation already, Haiti's recent oil price hikes proved to be detrimental to Haitian citizens. The World Bank says the majority of Haitians, about 59 percent, make less than the equivalent of $2.41 per day.

The IMF said on Thursday that it expects Haiti to create a revised reform plan that will include a gradual lowering of fuel subsidies.

The US State Department still advises against travel to Haiti because of civil unrest and crime.

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