Haitians Call on President to Resign

By Daisy Hernandez May 13, 2010

About two thousand Haitians took to the streets this week demanding that President Rene Preval leave office, saying he’s using the devastating earthquake as a reason to stay in power and to share that power with foreigners. Elections are supposed to take place in November but Pres. Preval said that might be delayed because the earthquake destroyed polling places and voting records. If the election’s pushed back, he said he’ll stay in office till May 2011. Parliament elections didn’t take place in Feb. so as of Monday the lower house and a third of the senate were expected to be emptied of elected officials. According to Al Jazeera’s reporter, Seb Walker: "It concentrates power in the hands of the president and the international commission that has been set up with former US president Bill Clinton as a co-chair. The people say that this means the day-to-day running of the country is now out of their hands." As usual, there’s a good financial reason to keep everyday people out of power: the international commission is in charge of $9.9 billion in foreign reconstruction money. That’s 40 per cent more than Haiti’s entire gross domestic product. Steven Werlin, who we interviewed after the earthquake, reports: "It is easy enough to understand protests here in a general way: the living conditions in Port au Prince continue to deteriorate without there being clear signs that things will begin to turn around. Of course people are frustrated." (Photo by Sophia Paris/MINUSTAH via Getty Images)