For weeks, protesters in Haiti, along with human rights organizations, churches, and Haiti’s Chamber of Commerce, had been calling for postponement of the January 24 elections due to massive fraud in previous rounds. Now that the elections have been postponed, the protesters have a new demand: that President Michel Martelly resign. As the situation in Haiti continues to be tense, many wonder whether Martelly will last until his constitutionally-mandated departure date of February 7th.
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Protesters in Haiti Demand That President Quit
Frances Robles, The New York Times
January 24, 2016
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Volcy Assad, a Haitian political activist, stood before an enormous plume of black smoke emanating from a pile of burning tires and made it clear that the demands of protesters had changed.
“Today we are demanding the departure of Michel Martelly,” Mr. Assad said on Saturday, referring to the Haitian president. Around him, groups of young men, faces covered with T-shirts and bandannas to shield from tear gas, had blocked the streets with rocks.
One day earlier, officials had bowed to widespread civil unrest and postponed a single-candidate presidential runoff vote that was to be held on Sunday. Now, feeling emboldened in their objections to the first round of voting that many saw as deeply fraudulent, protesters are demanding the ouster of President Martelly. With just two weeks left in office, he has become the central figure in a growing political scandal here that threatens the stability of a nation with a long history of social unrest and turmoil.
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