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Americas

Haiti demonstration turns violent

media Police walk between residents taking part in a protest in Port-au-Prince … Reuters

Police in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince used tear gas on Monday to disperse an opposition protest that called on President René Préval to resign. The demonstration followed a decision by parliament to extend Préval’s term by three months.

About 1,000 protestors took to the streets to denounce Préval’s handling of the aftermath of the 12 January earthquake in which up to 300,000 people were killed.

Elections are due to take place in Haiti next February but there are fears that they may be delayed as the country rebuilds after the disaster.

Préval’s term was due to expire on 7 February next year but he will stay in power until 14 May if the government decides that elections cannot take place as scheduled.

"He is profiting from this disaster in order to stay in power," one of the demontrators, Herve Santilus, told the Associated Press agency.

Some protestors called for the return from exile of former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

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