Haitians stage anti-president protests

Young protesters in the quake-ravaged nation accuse President Michel Martelly of not living up to promises.

Anti-government demonstrators Haiti
Anti-government protestors marched through shanty towns to vent their frustrations against the President [GALLO/GETTY]

Hundreds of Haitians have taken to the streets of capital Port-au-Prince to protest higher living costs in the country, calling for President Michel Martelly to resign.

Martelly is accused of breaking promises to cover the cost of school tuition and failing to do enough to alleviate the suffering of the Caribbean nation’s poor.

“Martelly is wasting the meager resources of the country to buy luxury vehicles and for international trips that don’t bring anything to the country,” Edner Rosier, one of the organisers of Sunday’s protest, said.

The demonstrators, mainly young people from poor neighbourhoods, marched through the shanty towns of the city before assembling near the presidential palace, where police had been deployed.

Martelly has faced a number of protests over the difficult living conditions in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.

Opposition groups have recently organised similar anti-government rallies in various cities to denounce the cost of living and to demand compensation for the victims of the cholera epidemic, which has claimed more than 7,000 lives in Haiti.

Last month the government created a commission to work with businesses and farmers’ groups in a bid to stabilise food prices.