Haiti government suspends fuel price hike
PORT AU PRINCE – The controversial fuel price hike that triggered protests in the French speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state, has been suspended.
The decision to suspend the increase in the price of gasoline, was announced on Saturday by Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant.
On Friday, at least three people were reportedly killed as Haitians took to the streets, burning tires and mounting roadblocks following the government announcement of the increase,
According to reports, the fuel price rise is in compliance with an agreement made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Just before the suspension was announced, the leader of Haiti’s lower house of parliament had threatened a government takeover if the fuel price increases were not reversed.
Shortly after, Lafontant announced suspension of the price hike decision on Twitter, stating that “violence and democracy are fundamentally incompatible.”
The police report that on Friday, two of the protestors were fatally shot when they clashed with the police in the capital.
The third person killed was a security guard for a former political candidate who was stopped at a barricade.
The price hike is based on an agreement signed with the IMF earlier this year.
The agreement implied the ending of subsidies for petroleum products, which are a major source of the budget deficit.
The agreement also included increased spending on social services and infrastructure and improved tax collection in an effort to modernize the economy. (CMC)