HAITI

Haiti prime minister Lafontant resigns after deadly unrest

Pierre Michel Jean, AFP | Haiti ex-Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant arrives for his interpellation session at the parliament in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 14, 2018.

Embattled Haiti Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned on Saturday following deadly violence and looting sparked by a now-abandoned plan to raise fuel prices.

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"I submitted my resignation to the president of the republic," who has "accepted my resignation," Lafontant said in the lower house of Haiti's legislature.

Last week, the government in the impoverished Caribbean country announced plans for major fuel price hikes -- 38 percent for gasoline, 47 percent for diesel and 51 percent for kerosene.

The announcement sparked mass protests, with streets in the capital Port-au-Prince and other cities blocked with barricades of debris and burning tires.

Dozens of shops were looted and burned and cars were set ablaze. At least four people were killed. The government quickly did an about-face and called off the planned price increases.

Lafontant, who took office in February 2017, had faced widespread criticism even before the spasm of violence.

(AFP)

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