The Haitian National Police has declared a state of emergency from this Friday until February 15 due to the wave of protests called by the opposition to demand the departure next month of the country’s president, Jovenel Moise, for understanding that he is about to rule outside his constitutional mandate.
Moise assumed power on February 7, 2017 after elections that were annulled in 2015 due to allegations of fraud and that were repeated in 2016. The opposition counts the president’s five-year term since that year, so he believes that the president He will have to leave power next month, in a constitutional interpretation disputed by the Government, the Organization of American States (OAS) and by the United States.
Moise is now working on drafting a new Constitution, which is expected to be put to a referendum next April, while the presidential and legislative elections will be held in September without, in principle, the presence of Moise. However, the president could end up ruling the country until then by decree, according to the opposition.
The latest trigger for the protests has been a controversial decree that typifies street vandalism as an act of terrorism, in what the opposition understands as an act to restrict the freedom of expression of the protesters.
The announcement this past Friday occurred after a massive rally in the capital, Port-au-Prince, which was dissolved by the police with the launch of tear gas. Other provincial capitals joined the day of protests, the first of a calendar full of marches to demand the departure of the president.
Thus, and “before the calls for a popular uprising for civil disobedience”, the general director of the National Police, Léon Charles, ordered that all police personnel be disposed, “from January 15 to February 15, 2021, in state of maximum alert throughout the territory of the Republic, “according to the statement collected by the Haiti Libre news portal.
The Police are thus preparing for another possible new episode of tension that will occur this Sunday, the day for which a demonstration of the National Police union is called on the avenue of Toussaint Louverture, on the way to the international airport; a route “in which no protest will be allowed,” warn the security forces, and whose celebration “will be in direct violation of the prohibition of the Commander-in-Chief of the National Police.”