Haiti’s Police Break Up Anti-Préval Protest In Front Of National Palace
May 11, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Haitian police broke up a rally on Monday in front of the National Palace, where protesters demanded that President René Préval step down.
Police fired tear gas into a crowd of about 2,000 and fired live rounds into the air, after protesters attempted to pass barricades in front of the palace, according to Reuters.
Some protesters threw rocks at police. Police arrested seven people for robbery, according to The Associated Press.
Opposition groups accuse Préval of planning to stay beyond his term, which is scheduled to end next year. The lower house of Haiti’s Congress recently voted to allow Préval to stay in office for an additional three months. The Senate approved the measure on Monday.
“He is profiting from this disaster in order to stay in power,” Herve Santilus, a sociologist who lost his job after the Jan. 12 earthquake, told AP.
Some protesters called for the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a left-wing former president who was deposed in a coup in 2004.
The protests underscored the simmering anger toward authorities felt by Haitians, more than a million of whom remain stuck in improvised tent camps.
Préval denies that he intends to overstay his term and said last week that he would leave office by May 14, 2011. “I want to establish stability in this country,” he said.
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Image: Ben Piven @ Flickr.