Police, anti-government protesters clash in Haiti capital
Police in Haiti have clashed with anti-government demonstrators calling for the resignation of President Michel Martelly over long-delayed legislative and municipal elections.
According to reports, police forces fired tear gas toward a crowd of protesters in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on Saturday.
The city has witnessed a series of demonstrations in the past few weeks, as demonstrators also protested against the country’s high fuel prices.
Protesters argue that the government’s recent cuts in gasoline and diesel prices have not been enough.
The government recently lowered the price of gas by about 25 cents to USD 4.50 a gallon. Diesel prices were also decreased from USD 3.75 to about USD 3.55 per gallon.
Haitian students and other protesters have called for a two-day rally to begin on Monday. Organizers are urging businesses to close and people from all sectors to participate in the rally. The stoppage is aimed at shutting down schools, banks and other institutions.
The country faces a political deadlock as parliamentary elections have repeatedly been postponed. As the terms of the lawmakers have expired, no prime minister can be elected in the wake of the December 2014 resignation of Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. This has led to the allegation that President Martelly seeks to exploit the political deadlock through ruling by decree.
The president took office in May 2011 and is due to leave next year.