Haiti's minister of finance resigns blaming "lack of solidarity"

By Amelie Baron

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) - Haiti's Minister of Economy and Finances Marie Carmelle Jean-Marie resigned abruptly on Wednesday, accusing her cabinet colleagues of not cooperating with her attempts to clean up public finances.

"I can battle against adversity or against external hazards that regularly hit our country, but not against the lack of solidarity of my own peers," she wrote in her resignation letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Jean-Marie confirmed the resignation in a radio interview, saying she had submitted a resignation letter to Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, but she declined to discuss what motivated her resignation.

Widely respected by national and international economists for her professional skills and known as Haiti's Irony Lady, Jean-Marie was named minister of economy and finance in the administration of Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Prime Minister Michel Martelly in May 2012.

While in office she pushed efforts to improve the financial management and transparency of the country's economy, which is still highly dependant on international aid three years after a massive earthquake hit the capital city killing more than 200,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more homeless.

Jean-Marie clashed with Martelly and Lamothe over public spending, including telling cabinet ministers in December to cut excessive expenses and travel after both took lengthy trips abroad.

Controversy in Haiti has also swirled over the government's decision to issue tens of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts after Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage and flooding last year.

(Additional reporting by David Adams; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)