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Haitian Lawmakers Urge PM to Resign After Food Protests


A group of opposition lawmakers in Haiti is urging Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis to resign following deadly protests over soaring food prices.

A majority of the nation's senators have signed a letter saying Haitians have lost confidence in the government's ability to deal with the soaring cost of living.

President Rene Preval delivered a speech Wednesday, vowing to increase national food production. But the opposition said the government is not going far enough to lower the cost of staples like beans, rice and oil.

Still, a relative calm returned to the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Thursday. Some roadblocks were taken down and U.N. peacekeepers relaxed their guard slightly around the presidential palace.

Three U.N. peacekeepers were reportedly wounded during protests Wednesday, but a U.N. spokesman in New York said their injuries were very minor.

At least five people were killed in Les Cayes, as protesters clashed with peacekeepers during the week-long disturbances.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been hard hit by global increases in food costs.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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