PORT-AU-PRINCE - Haitian lawmakers on Thursday approved the nomination of a close adviser to President Michel Martelly as prime minister, raising hopes of ending a political stalemate that has stalled reconstruction efforts after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake.

The lower house of parliament voted 62-3, with two abstentions, to approve Martelly's nomination of Laurent Lamothe, currently Haiti's foreign minister.

Lamothe, a 39-year-old former businessman and close friend of Martelly, was approved by Haiti's Senate last month. He will replace Garry Conille, who resigned in February after only four months on the job.

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