Haiti’s prime minister steps down amid growing political unrest


Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamonthe resigned from office late Saturday night in an effort to quell political instability amid calls for new elections and criticism of the administration’s undemocratic behavior.

“I leave the post of prime minister this evening, with the feeling of accomplishment.”Lamothe said in a late-night televised address, according to The Miami Herald. Lamonthe cited the government’s accomplishments in poverty reduction but said he was willing to step down “if this is what can truly unblock the political crisis.”

See: Hey Now, Haiti: Young Haitians flip the script on Instagram.

Lamonthe’s resignation comes on the heels of violent protests that left one dead. It was a quick fall from grace; one month ago Lamonthe was named the Innovative Leader of the Year Award at Latin Trade Group’s 20th anniversary of the BRAVO Business Awards in Miami.

“As prime minister since 2012, Lamothe along with President Michel Martelly’s administration, has helped establish a paradigm shift for Haiti as a destination for investment, rather than simply for humanitarian aid,” Latin Trade Group said on its decision to award the Haitian prime minister. “Lamothe has pursued reforms and policies to make Haiti a safer and more business-friendly country.”

Latin Trade group noted that foreign direct investment in Haiti increased 25 percent in Lamonthe’s first year in office, and credited him with helping to boost job creation, reconstruction and economic growth in Haiti, “repositioning it as a country ‘open for business’.”

That was a month ago. Today Lamonthe, a close confidant of President Martelly and a man many considered to be the “brains of the operation,” is out of a job.

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