Originally posted in The Guardian
Thousands mark anniversary of ex-president’s ousting in 1991, with some calling for current president to resign.
Riot police in Haiti have broken up an anti-government demonstration by thousands of people to mark the anniversary of the ousting in 1991 of the former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
A handful of protesters responded by setting ablaze barricades that blocked a major thoroughfare through the heart of downtown Port-au-Prince.
Critics of the current president, Michel Martelly, gathered under a heavy police presence on Monday morning and marched through the capital’s shanties, all Aristide strongholds. Some demonstrators demanded that Martelly resign because of corruption allegations, while others protested over the absence of elections. Riot police fired teargas at the demonstrators after they left the approved route.
Haiti was supposed to have held legislative and local elections two years ago, but infighting among different branches of the government has delayed the vote. Martelly has said elections will be held this year, but that looks unlikely.
Aristide’s political party, the Lavalas Family, has said it plans to run, and its popularity could pose a formidable challenge to Martelly and his allies. Thousands of people shadowed Aristide in May as he toured the capital following a court hearingin one of the biggest rallies in Port-au-Prince this year.
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