News

Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe Resigns From Office

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 14, 2014

Above: Laurent Lamothe

By Alexander Britell

Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe resigned from office on Saturday night, announcing the move in a televised address.

The announcement came after Lamothe was effectively forced out of office following the recommendation of a commission appointed by Haiti President Michel Martelly and growing anti-government protests in the streets of Haiti’s major cities.

“I leave the position of Prime Minister with a sense of achievement,” Lamothe said. “Vive Haiti.”

The commission had been set up in an attempt to break the country’s long-lasting political deadlock, which had delayed the holding of legislative and municipal elections in the country by more than three years.

Lamothe had come to office in 2011, after two previous appointments to the position by Martelly had been rejected by Haiti’s Parliament.

He quickly developed a role as perhaps the country’s most effective spokesman, cultivating a relationship with foreign donors, politicians and multilaterals.

Lamothe also became perhaps the most social media savvy politician in the Caribbean, with a significant following on Facebook and Twitter and a concerted effort to report his daily activities.

That led Lamothe to become, in many ways, the face of the Haitian government abroad (due in part to his fluency with multiple languages), something that likely led to friction with Martelly and the rest of the government.

Lamothe himself touted the government’s massive education programme, which he said put 84 percent of children in school compared to just 52 percent before he entered office.

But perhaps his biggest ambition was to work to change the image of Haiti; for a multitude of reasons, Haiti had suffered from a massive public-relations problem: it was viewed for decades as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and little else.

And Lamothe, along with Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin, was able to put a dent in that image, in many ways reframing Haiti as a place for possible investment and as an emerging tourist destination.

And for a country where political success is often hard to evaluate, that was a discrete result.

Of course, the work was more than simply cosmetic, led most recently by an increase in foreign investment inflows of 20 percent last year, for a total of just under $186 million.

How those efforts fare under his successor will be one of the biggest questions facing the country.

His record was not without missteps, naturally; a major stated push to improve the ease of doing business, notably by decreasing the number of days to start a business, stalled; too many Cabinet reshuffles, with three under his watch and more crucially, he was unable to overcome Haiti’s crippling political stalemate, something that proved his undoing.

This does not represent the end of Lamothe’s political career, however; he will almost certainly be a major contender for the presidency in 2015.

Martelly has not yet appointed Lamothe’s successor.

Popular Posts the sexiest beaches including this resort at atlantis

The Sexiest Beaches in the Caribbean to Visit Right Now 

One is a beach with a nightclub-style pool right next door. Another is filled with beach bars — and even has its own au natural corner. Then there’s a beach that’s practically a nonstop party.  There are so many things that […]


The Best Caribbean Islands to Visit This Summer, From Antigua to St Croix

verandah antigua

We’ve been saying it for years, and we’ll keep saying it: in some ways, the Caribbean is even better in the summer months. The water is warm. It’s a bit less crowded, a little bit quieter. At night, the trade […]


The Winners of the 2024 Caribbean Green Awards 

caribbean green

With almost 20,000 votes, the winners of the Caribbean Green Awards 2024 Presented by E-Finity have been crowned.  From state-of-the-art marine conservation projects to hotels that are redefining sustainability, the Green movement has never been stronger in the Caribbean.  “This […]


Related Posts beach bungalow on the sand with reflection of water

Curacao’s Newest All-Inclusive Resort Reinvents the Beach Bungalow

Hyatt’s Dreams brand first debuted on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao back in 2019, a transformation of what had been the Hilton Curacao. In many ways, Dreams’ debut helped change the game for the island, helping to kick off […]


WestJet Is Coming Back to Bonaire for a Second Season

blue water next to chairs and a balcony

The newest gateway for Canadian travelers to the Dutch Caribbean is coming back again for a second season this upcoming winter, Caribbean Journal has learned.  WestJet, which kicked off its first-ever flights between Toronto and Bonaire last year, has announced […]


How The Sands at Grace Bay Resort Defines the Turks and Caicos Vacation 

palapas on grace bay beach in turks and caicos

You’re right on Grace Bay Beach, one of the best in the world. Your room is spacious and comfortable, with every amenity you need and the ingredients for any vacation you choose. This is the essence of the Turks and […]


SUBSCRIBE!

Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.


No. Thank You