Anti-government protest on the day of Battle of Vertieres turns violent

Violence breaks out during Anti-Government Protest


The Martelly-Lamothe government is passing a fourth year of not holding state and local elections, and anti-government forces have taken to the streets to protest the government's inaction. In a clash between pro- and anti-government protestors in the Delmas 32 neighborhood, both sides hurled rocks and verbal accusations at each other. The riot grew out of control in no time and shots were fired, wounding three people, one sustaining serious injuries.

The Haitian National Police (HNP) used tear gas on the protestors, causing the majority of them to leave the area. When newspaper journalists tried to question Frantz Lerebours, HNP spokesman, to find out if any arrests were made, he could not verify any information for them. The protestors having moved on, continued marching, calling for Martelly's resignation. Apparently disenfranchised, they also demanded their constitutional rights to vote in the forever-pending elections.

President Martelly's duty was to hold elections back in 2011, but hasn't because the Senate has not approved an electoral law, sanctioning the vote. Six senators are refusing to seat a quorum, which is necessary to give the electoral law the senate's imprimatur.

Also concerning the delay of elections, Martelly and opposition parties are at loggerheads to resolve their differences. Three invitations have been extended by him to them, but they say he refuses to set an agenda for negotiations; he simply wants open-ended discussions. The fear is if nothing happens by January 2015 he could rule by Presidential decree, leading to more violent uprisings.

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