MINUSTAH (Brazil-led UN occupation force in Haiti) gases students; Massive protests in Port au Prince

By Kim Ives, Editor Haiti Liberté
May 26 – June 1, 2010

Thousands of Haitians march on May 25 in Port au Prince to protest attacks on democratic rights. Sign in front reads, "Down with occupation." By Haiti Liberté.

The President of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced on May 24 that presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on Nov. 28, 2010, the Constitutionally prescribed date.

“The CEP is up to the task of organizing general elections in the country,” said Gaillot Dorsinvil, who is also the Handicapped Sector’s representative on the nine member council, handpicked by President René Préval.

But tens of thousands of Haitians don’t agree and have been demonstrating in streets around the country in recent weeks to demand, not just a new CEP, but Préval’s resignation.

“Nobody has confidence in Préval or his CEP to organize credible elections,” said Evans Paul, a leader of the Convention for Democratic Unity (KID) party and the political platform Alternative. Both groups, along with a number of other right-wing politicians and parties which supported the 2004 coup d’état against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, have joined in an unlikely alliance with popular organizations at the base of Aristide’s party, the Lavalas Family.

The alliance, called Heads Together of Popular Organizations (Tet Kole Oganizasyon Popile yo), has held three massive demonstrations of many thousands in the capital on May 10, May 17, and May 25, all calling for Préval’s resignation, Aristide’s return from exile in South Africa, and repeal of the “state of emergency law” that puts a foreign-dominated council in charge of Haiti’s reconstruction, among other demands. Continue reading