Haiti protests

Demands for Haiti’s president to resign continue amid protests

Photo by Reuters on BBC News

— 2 minute read — By Ed Bazeley

Since 2018, protests in the Caribbean nation of Haiti have been rife. The demonstrations 3 years ago were sparked by the government’s decision to increase fuel prices and soon escalated into demands for President Jovenal Moise to resign. 60 percent of Haitians live below the poverty line, and this – combined with his history of corruption – has fuelled anger and opposition towards President Moise.

This year, protestors gathered in the nation’s capital Port-au-Prince amid opposition claims that President Moise’s term should have expired on 7 February 2021 following the 2015 elections. However, President Moise rejects the opposition’s accusations, claiming that he did not take power until 2017. He states that the country’s most recent elections were in 2016 – a year later than the opposition states.

After a protest in February turned violent, 23 people were arrested, including Supreme Court Judge Ivickel Dabresil. Officials close to the president alleged that these arrests helped to prevent an attempt to murder President Moise. Protesters set fire to barricades made of tyres and were met by police who fired rubber bullets in response.

Some reports allege that the opposition want Supreme Court Judge Dabresil to become the temporary president because Moise has been ruling via presidential decree. This comes after Moise’s government failed to hold elections to the legislature in 2019.

Despite this, the United States and UN do not want President Moise to be immediately ousted as they fear this may cause more civil unrest in an already troubled nation. However, Moise has pledged to step down from Haiti’s presidency next year.