A political crisis has been brewing in Haiti for over 3 years now, ever since the Martelly administration failed to hold elections in 2011. The crisis came to a head January 12, when the terms of 1/3 of Haiti’s Senate and of the Chamber of Deputies expired, leaving Parliament unable to reach a quorum to pass any laws. This also means that President Martelly is ruling by decree, the de facto dictator of Haiti. New protests arise every day and the UN Security Council heads to Haiti next week to find a solution. So far, it’s unclear what that might be.
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Haiti’s Political Earthquake
Five years after the devastating earthquake, has Haiti fallen into de facto dictatorship?
Nathalie Baptiste, Foreign Policy in Focus
January 14, 2015
Five years after the now-infamous Haitian earthquake, the small country faces another crisis.
As Haitians mourn the earthquake that robbed them of their loved ones and livelihoods, they’ll also be treated to yet another meltdown of their government. With President Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly and members of the opposition proving unable to organize parliamentary elections, the political gridlock that has been plaguing Haiti for over three years has turned into a full-fledged crisis as the country’s legislature has dissolved — leaving a de facto dictator in charge.
In the weeks leading up to the dissolution of what had been left of the Haitian government, political pundits argued and radio talk show hosts held lively debates about the political crisis. As days kept passing, a concrete resolution wasn’t even on the horizon. Tensions in Port-au-Prince were running high.
No Elections, No Peace
Glittering up above a backdrop of shantytowns and poorly constructed shacks is Petionville, the wealthy suburb of Port-au-Prince. On Bourdon Street, informal merchants sell art to the upper class and brand new hotels appear to spring up weekly along the quiet suburban streets. Petionville is home to the tiny Haitian elite, and up here Martelly is beloved.
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