Haiti-FoodProtests 7thLd-Writethru 04-12 dn

Prime minister dismissed

Haitian lawmakers on Saturday dismissed the country’s prime minister, hoping to defuse widespread anger over rising food prices that led to days of deadly protests and looting.

President Rene Preval, who earlier announced plans to cut the price of rice, immediately said he would seek a replacement for the ousted Jacques Edouard Alexis. The prime minister took office in 2006 with Preval’s backing to head a Cabinet meant to unite the poor and fractious nation.

After Alexis’ dismissal, when the country seemed to be calming, a U.N. police officer bringing food to his unit was pulled from a car and was killed execution style in Port-au-Prince, U.N. sources said.

Opposition Sen. Youri Latortue said lawmakers ousted the prime minister because he did not boost food production and refused to set a timetable for the departure of U.N. peacekeepers.

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