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Haitian President Confirms 3-Month Term Extension

Vanessa Estime

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Instead of leaving office on his scheduled departure date of February 7, Haitian President Rene Preval will stay in

However, the people of Haiti have something else to say about the matter. Rene Preval is very unpopular in the cities of Haiti, and anti-Preval protestors have been chanting “Preval is a crook!” while lining up on the streets outside the demolished National Palace creating a disturbance.

power for another three months as Haiti finally selects a successor in an election that has been delayed for months.

According to Fritz Longchamp, Chief of Staff, Rene Preval will stay in office until May 14 until Haiti begins a presidential runoff on March 20 between two candidates: Mirlande Manigat and Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly. According to the Associated Press, “an emergency law passed by members of Preval’s former party in an expiring Senate allows him to remain in office up to three more months because his 2006 inauguration was delayed.”

Countries, like the United States, have nodded in agreement with Preval’s decision to stay in office to avoid a “power vacuum”— a term used to describe an instance where there is no identifiable central authority in a government. When that happens, other forces will try and “rush in” to fill that vacuum in the form of a dictator or armed militia.

Jon Piechowski, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, was reported as saying that this “peaceful and orderly transition between President Preval and his elected successor is important for Haiti; the president and the people of Haiti will have to decide on the framework for this transition.”

However, the people of Haiti have something else to say about the matter. Rene Preval is very unpopular in the cities of Haiti, and anti-Preval protestors have been chanting “Preval is a crook!” while lining up on the streets outside the demolished National Palace creating a disturbance.

With all of this going on, skepticism abounds as Mark Weisbrot, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, was noted as saying: “It is not clear how legitimate government will be formed from this election.”

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Haitian President Confirms 3-Month Term Extension