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HAITI
Senate boots prime minister
11/12/2009
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Economist sworn in, vowing to improve the economy and create jobs.

Economist Jean-Max Bellerive was sworn in Nov. 6 as Haiti´s new prime minister, just over a week after the Senate fired Michèle Pierre-Louis, following criticism that she failed to improve the country´s economy.

Bellerive, who served as minister of planning and external cooperation, took the second-highest post in President René Préval´s government, promising to bring in more foreign investment and become a transparent nation. He also said he would promote the tourism, agriculture and handicraft to improve the economy.

But lawmakers noted Bellerive must tackle low production, weak infrastructure, health problems, corruption, education, unemployment, and weak democracy.

Lawmakers ratified the posts of 11 of Préval´s 18 ministers, including ministers of agriculture, interior, tourism, public health, and planning and external cooperation, which will continue to be headed by Bellerive. The finance and foreign relation ministers did not win confirmation.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, has a poverty rate of 72 percent, and an extreme poverty rate of 55 percent, according to the United Nations Development Program. Four hurricanes last year ravaged the country, killing more than 800 people, destroying crops and infrastructure.
—Latinamerica Press.


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