Haitian Senate Sacks Prime Minister

Food riots spark ouster of president's close ally
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2008 7:00 AM CDT
Men are forced into a police truck after being detained for allegedly looting near the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, April 9, 2008.    (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – Amid skyrocketing food prices and deadly riots in Haiti, the country's senate has voted to oust Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis. President Rene Preval, who appointed his ally Alexis in 2006 to lead the country's coalition government, must now choose a new cabinet. The vote came in spite of a recently announced 16% drop in the price of rice, BBC reports.

The price cut is to be underwritten by the private sector and international donors—a plan Preval's opposition calls "too little, too late." Protests over the last 10 days have left five dead, including a UN peacekeeper. "The majority of the people don't believe any more in the capacity of your government to take courageous measures," the senate told Preval.