Protests continued in the Caribbean country of Haiti on Monday. Demonstrations have been going on for the past one week. During this time, opposition activists who took to the streets demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise, have set fire to several places. Police fired rubber bullets at them, injuring several protesters. The opposition in Haiti is demanding immediate resignation from the president. They argues that the President’s term has ended. According to him, Moiz’s term ended on February 7, 2021. Just five years earlier, Moise’s predecessor, President Michel Martelli stepped down. But Martelli claims that he took over the post on 7 February 2017, so he still has one year left.
During the past four years, Moise has faced serious corruption charges. During this time also there were several anti-government protests, including violence. The country was to have parliamentary elections in October 2019. But Moise did not hold these elections. Since then, he has been governing the country by executive order for about one and a half years.
On February 7, opposition leaders said the president’s term was over, so he should step down. In response, Moiz said that the opposition tried to overthrow and assassinate him, which was foiled. Moiz’s government arrested 23 people on charges of plotting a coup.
These include Supreme Court Judge Evicale Debresil. The opposition is said to have decided to make Debresil the acting president. After DeBrasil was imprisoned, the opposition chose another judge Joseph Messini Jean-Louis, the Supreme Court, as its interim leader. After that, Haiti media said that now there are ‘two presidents’ in the country.
Opposition leaders have denied the charge of attempting a coup. He says that Moise has extended his tenure in an arbitrary and illegal manner, so it is permissible for him to elect an alternate president. While the Moise government has called the opposition’s attempt illegal and forcible to grab power. Due to this tension, heavy police arrangements have been made at the capital Port-au-Prince. Police has been deployed extensively, especially around the Supreme Court.
Analysts say that Moise’s decision to postpone the parliamentary elections in October 2019 is the real root of the problem. Moiz had then said that now parliamentary elections will be held in October 2021. According to analysts, Moiz stepped towards dictatorship by deciding to run the government with executive order without parliamentary oversight.
Moise claims that he has total loyalty to democracy. Moise has said that in the remaining 12 months of his term, he will hold local, parliamentary and new presidential elections. But critics say that Moise, meanwhile, wants to end the condition under which a person cannot remain president for more than two terms. This dispute has now hit the streets. Experts say that there is no hope of resolving the issue soon. This means that Haiti will face political instability for a long time.