Protesters in Haiti demand president resigns

Haitian police used tear gas and warning shots to disperse protesters calling for President Rene Preval's resignation.

Protesters in Haiti demand president resigns

Haitian police used tear gas and warning shots to disperse protesters calling for President Rene Preval's resignation on Monday.

Haiti's government has come under strong criticism for its response to the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed up to 300,000 people and caused damage estimated at up to 120 percent of the impoverished Caribbean country's gross domestic product.

About 1,000 demonstrators took to the streets to denounce what they called a plan by Preval to sell the country to foreign powers and remain in power beyond his legal term, allegations that government officials have repeatedly denied.

The protest was called by nearly 40 political parties and other opposition groups. Police reacted when protesters tried to break through a security perimeter around the quake-damaged palace where Preval was holding meetings.

In March, international donors pledged $10 billion over 10 years to help Haiti rebuild.

Projects are to be reviewed and approved by an interim committee co-chaired by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former U.S. President and U.N. special envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton. The committee is comprised of an equal number of Haitian and foreign members.

Some Haitians see the creation of the commission as a violation of Haiti's constitution and sovereignty.

"Preval should leave power and he should be arrested," shouted Maxime Geffrard, one of the demonstrators. "He is a traitor because he wants to sell the country to foreigners."

Parliament approved a measure on Monday allowing Preval to stay in office until May 14, 2011, if an election cannot be held in time to swear in the next leader on the constitutionally mandated date of Feb. 7, 2011. Opposition parties and other groups opposed the measure.


Reuters

Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2010, 15:40
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