Wed, May 14, 2008 - Page 7 News List

Haitian legislature turns down Preval's pick for PM


Haitian legislators on Monday rejected President Rene Preval's pick for prime minister, extending a monthlong period without a functioning government for the troubled country.

Spokesmen in the lower house of Parliament said international banker Ericq Pierre lost a vote that ended his candidacy 51 to 35, with nine abstentions.

Levaillant Louis Jeune, a leading opposition deputy, said legislators did not have faith in the political leadership of Pierre, a senior official with the Inter-American Development Bank.

“We didn’t really believe in the plan that he had for the people of this country,” he said in Port-au-Prince.

In an interview last week, Pierre said Haiti must concentrate on long-term strategies to help the millions pushed deeper into misery by higher food prices.

On April 12, the Senate dismissed Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis over criticism that his government failed to show leadership and mismanaged the economy before violent food protests that left seven people dead and destroyed hundreds of businesses.

Preval will have to nominate another candidate, who must win a vote of confidence in the two houses of parliament.

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