Feb 8 - 3:13 AM IST, Reuters: Haiti postpones Carnival as president steps down amid unrest
(Feb 7 - PORT-AU-PRINCE) Haiti delayed the start of Carnival celebrations on Sunday because of fears of violence from anti-government protesters as President Michel Martelly ended his term with nobody elected to replace him.
Widespread unrest set off by an election that critics say was fraudulent meant the impoverished Caribbean nation was unable to hold a runoff to chose a new president before Martelly stepped down, leaving the country facing a period of interim government. ...Two weeks ago, America Rising: Haitian Protesters Call For Removal Of Clinton-Backed President
Over the weekend protests broke out in Haiti with protesters calling for President Michel Martelly’s resignation following a “first round of voting that many saw as deeply fraudulent.” Martelly first became President of the country in 2011 following Hillary Clinton’s intervention.
Martelly first ran for election in late 2010 but, after he lostthe first round of elections, allegations quickly mounted that the sitting president had tried to “steal the election and install his chosen candidate.” In January 2011, the Organization of American States (OAS) reported that Martelly had in fact continued on to the second round. Cue Hillary Clinton. Clinton visited Haiti to push the OAS’s findings with Politico’s Jonathan Katz later noting that Clinton’s “most important mission was to make sure all the parties in Haiti agreed to put Martelly back into the race.” Clinton reportedly threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Haiti if Martelly was not allowed to run.
Years later, Clinton-backed President Michel Martelly has not yet held an election during his five-year tenure,allowing “the terms of every elected official in the country” to expire and “leaving Mr. Martelly to rule by decree for an entire year.” Martelly’s administration has been marked by “criminality,” “including its protection of members of an alleged kidnapping and drug smuggling ring.”
When questioned about Martelly’s “track record” and Clinton’s continued support for him, Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill simply responded, “she supports democratic elections, just like she did as secretary,” and “declined further comment.”
Over six years after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, and after the Clintons embarked on a failed reconstruction effort, Haiti continues to contend with the legacy of Hillary Clinton’s interference in its electoral process. Clinton’s failures have left the “poorest country in the Americas” trying to pick up the pieces. The question remains whether Haiti should be left holding the bag for Clinton’s mistakes as Secretary of State.
[END REPORT]Back to Reuters:
... Martelly himself rose to fame as a risque singer known for Carnival performances. He has released a new song with sexually suggestive lyrics that insult a female journalist. There had been speculation he would return to Carnival floats to perform the song after his presidency ended.
Martelly handed over the presidential sash on Sunday during a ceremony at the heavily guarded national assembly, attended by parliamentarians who under a last-minute deal will choose an interim president until a new leader is elected. ...********