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Haiti's PM Laurent Lamothe Resigns Amid Political Crisis

Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 06:19 AM

Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe announced his resignation Sunday, following repeated calls for him to step down amid anti-government protests and a political crisis in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Lamothe's resignation had been widely expected after President Michel Martelly said Friday that the prime minister was ready to leave "to help find a solution" to the country's political impasse that has seen a failure to hold parliamentary elections in the last three years.

"I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment," Lamothe said in a televised address, Haiti's communication ministry tweeted from its official account.

Lamothe's departure comes amid renewed violent protest against the ruling elite.

On Saturday, one man was shot dead during a new round of anti-government demonstrations in the Haitian capital calling for both the president and prime minister to resign.

Clashes broke out when hundreds of youths tried to break through police barricades to enter the presidential palace. It was not clear who had fired the fatal shot.

Haiti has been mired in political crisis for three years over its failure to hold long delayed municipal and legislative elections.

If elections are not held before January 12, the legislature will be automatically dissolved and Martelly can rule by decree.

"We have engaged this country in a dynamic of deep transformation and real change for the benefit of the population," Lamothe said in his resignation speech, according to a partial transcript published by the Haiti Libre news site.

"We hope with all our heart that this remarkable work will not be wasted and that other great achievements are coming for our country," he added.

Martelly's foes have accused him of returning Haiti to dictatorial rule. The country's former strongman Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier died in October.

"Baby Doc" Duvalier came to office in 1971 aged only 19, taking over upon the death of his still more feared father Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Haiti's self-styled president for life.

Opposition parties boycotted recent talks initiated by the government aimed at resolving the crisis before the end of the year.

An advisory commission set up by the president recommended last week that Lamothe resign.

The commission also recommended disbanding Haiti's electoral council and freeing political prisoners.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and still recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake, has struggled with a difficult post-colonial legacy, corrupt rule, civil unrest, environmental degradation and natural disaster.

The January 2010 earthquake devastated vast tracts of the capital and killed more than 100,000, and a cholera epidemic affected some 700,000 people, killing more than 8,500.

 

© AFP 2017

   
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Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe announced his resignation Sunday, following repeated calls for him to step down amid anti-government protests and a political crisis in the impoverished Caribbean nation.Lamothe's resignation had been widely expected after President...
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Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 06:19 AM
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