THOUSANDS PROTEST MARTELLY GOVERNMENT
Published Sunday, Sep. 30, 2012
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Several thousand people poured into the streets of Haiti’s capital on Sunday to protest the government of President Michel Martelly.
Demonstrators’ complaints included the high cost of living and allegations of corruption as they snaked through Port-au-Prince. Some protesters carried small red cards to suggest that Martelly has committed too many fouls since the former pop music star was sworn in as president in May 2011.
The Martelly government had no immediate public reaction to the protest.
Martelly, a pop music star before he turned to politics, presented himself as an outsider when he ran for the presidency. He promised free schooling and houses for people displaced by a massive 2010 earthquake. But some Haitians complain that Martelly has fallen short of improving their lives in one of the poorest countries in the world.
“The president has made so many promises but nothing has become a reality,” protester Max Dorlien said. “It’s only a clique of his friends who are making money.”
The Sunday protest followed several weeks of mostly peaceful demonstrations in the countryside. It also marked the 21st anniversary of the first ouster of two-time President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a former priest who returned to Haiti last year after seven years in exile.