Michel Martelly Popular despite Election Procrastination

Haitian President Michel Martelly is courting disaster if he does not hold legislative and local elections next year--and the earlier the better. They have been delayed more than two years, and repeated requests by senior government officials like Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe, have fallen on deaf ears.


Frustration at Martelly's stubbornness in delaying the democratic process has been coming from the international community, particularly the U.S. Joe Biden, Obama's vice President, made a conciliatory call to Martelly recently to both remind him of the pending elections and to compliment him on his attempts to cooperate with Parliament and other political factions to handle unresolved issues.

However, the opposition contends it's a falsehood he is cooperating with anyone. In fact, it's Martelly's way or the highway. And even more disconcerting are his public comments of admiration for the Duvalier 29-year rulership. The U.S. continues to support Martelly to keep the country's reconstruction projects moving ahead.

Although Haitian citizens protested in the streets on the 210th anniversary of Haiti's liberation from French dominence, they are overshadowed by a groundswell of citizens who approve of Martelly's performance in office.

Because he has refused to budge on the issue of holding legislative and local elections, Parliament continues to lack a third of its representation. Without a 30-seat quorum, it cannot pass legislation. The legislative gridlock is what has largely constituted the outburst of violent protests, including tire-burning blockades.

Rumors have been circulating Martelly is preparing to hold elections in 2014.

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