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Haitians Take To The Streets With Calls For Martelly’s Resignation

Thousands of people in Haiti have taken to the streets to protest the country’s high cost of living and call for the resignation of President Michel Martelly.

In a march through the capital of Port-au-Prince, opposition supporters and other demonstrators accused the president of corruption.

They also said he had failed to deliver on his promises to alleviate poverty.

Martelly took office last year promising a fresh start for Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake on January 12, 2010. The quake was responsible for more than 300,000 deaths and rendered more than a million other Haitians homeless.

Haiti, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.

Martelly came into power in May 2011 having garnered 68 percent of the vote in a run off.

The former pop star vowed to bridge the gap between Haiti’s tragic past with the aspirations of a new generation.

But opposition demonstrators say he wasted public money in luxury vehicles and international trips.

“Martelly is wasting the meager resources of the country,” said Edner Rosier, one of the organizers of the protest.

His government had also promised to cover the costs of school tuition, a measure which would have helped the country’s poorest, the opposition says.

Martelly says his government says is addressing the problem of high living costs.

A commission was set up last month to work out measures to curb the cost of food and other essentials.

The opposition says it has planned other demonstrations across Haiti over the upcoming days.

On Friday, the United Nations renewed the mandate of its peacekeeping force in the country, but decided to cut its size.

The force became hugely unpopular after an outbreak of cholera, which Haitians said blamed on foreign peacekeepers.

The epidemic killed more than 7,000 people in the Caribbean country.

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