Haitian President Jovenel Moïse Says He Will Not Resign, Despite Deadly Protests in Haiti

Jovenel Moise, the winner of Haiti's presidential election, speaks during an interview in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Jeanty Junior Augustin/Files

Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Despite calls for resignation and months of protests that have led hundreds of citizens in Haiti injured and several dead, including Journalist Rospide Petion, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse says he will not step down as leader of the country.

In an exclusive interview with BBC, Moïse, President of Haiti since February 2017, said that he has no intention of stepping down and brushed aside suggestions that he has been the cause of chaos in Haiti over the past few months.

“Let me take the last 33 years as an example: we have had 15 presidents, 22 prime ministers, a large number of ministerial cabinets and a number of transitions, and we are still where we are. The solution to the problems we are currently experiencing is not the resignation of the president. This solution lies in unity, serenity and calm and coexistence,” Moïse said in the interview with BBC Mundo.

“The problem we are talking about is the system, not a person. We have met many governments, many presidents, many prime ministers. But we are still where we are. It means that these problems were wrongly identified.

“That is why now, when I speak with you about the system, it is important that all Haitians unite and seek that all current social, economic and political forces stop confronting each other. We can not build a future for this country through division,” the told the BBC.

The opposition parties here have accused Moïse of embezzlement, but the head of state has defended himself against the report of the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation (CSA/CA) into programmes and projects funded by the PetroCaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

The report found that significant shortcomings have been associated with the planning and implementation of development programmes and projects funded by the PetroCaribe Fund.

Last month, the state announced it had filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Port-au-Prince against those persons implicated in the PetroCaribe scandal.

The protests in Haiti began in February in major cities across the island, and are still ongoing. So far, hundreds of civilians, protesters and several journalists have been injured or attacked during the demonstrations.

When asked if he thinks Haiti could descend into civil war if he does not resign, Moïse said, “the Haitian people are not like that, they are very peaceful, they are a population that loves peace, it is a population that loves serenity; Haitians do not like war, much less if it is between us,” he said, adding “we are not in a position to kill each other”.

 

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