Haiti Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant abruptly resigned Saturday, avoiding being forcibly ousted in a no-confidence vote by the country’s Lower Chamber of Deputies.

“Before coming here, I presented my resignation to the president of the republic,” Lafontant said about 10 minutes into his speech to the chamber in which he defended his tenure, shirked responsibility for the unrest and said Haitians today have a model in him.

Haiti’s parliament had scheduled a hearing on Saturday to fire Lafontant and his 18 cabinet members after an unpopular fuel price hike led to riots last weekend and the U.S. State Department issued a “Do not travel” Level 4 warning for the country.

A relatively unknown doctor until he was handpicked by President Jovenel Moïse 16 months ago, Lafontant temporarily suspended the fuel hike hours after it was enacted. But it did not immediately halt the violence. All week, he had refused calls to step down from business and opposition groups, which accused the government of mishandling the double-digit fuel increase that its ministers announced with little notice. Continue Reading

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