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  • Faithful and priests gather at Christ Roi church before a march organised by religious leaders in Port-au-Prince.

    Faithful and priests gather at Christ Roi church before a march organised by religious leaders in Port-au-Prince. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 October 2019

The Catholic leaders and their congregation constitute one of the last groups to join the ever-growing mass of organizations and platforms that reject the government.

Hundred of Catholics leaders and their congregations marched peacefully Tuesday through the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince calling for the immediate resignation of President Jovenel Moise as the Caribbean country entered its sixth week of anti-government protests.

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The Catholic protesters rallied in front of the capital’s main churches and denounced the president as corrupt and incompetent, joining thousands of other organizations, groups, teachers, students and Haitians that want Moise's removal. 

"Jovenel, make a wise decision and resign. What are you president of? There is nothing in this country. No food, no hospitals, no schools," said protester Fausta Maisonneuve, who held a rosary in her hand.

The Catholic leaders and their congregation constitute one of the last groups to join the ever-growing mass of social organizations and political platforms that reject the current political system and demand the initiation of a new government capable to address the population’s most pressing problems.

“Can we advance with the current political regime and this system in place? We should ... build anew,” said Reverend Firto Regis, spokesman for the Haitian Conference of Religious.

More than 100 social, political and economic organizations and institutions recently signed a document calling for the creation of a national rescue government in order to achieve a successful transition, after more than two years of a failing presidency.

In their statement, they denounced the government’s loss of control of the state apparatus, and they stressed the chaotic situation the country is facing and that is paving the way to an imminent humanitarian disaster.

Within the opposition front, although the common objective is the removal of Moise, there is still dissent on the issues of the power transfer process and the formation of a new administration.

For his part, Moise, said last week in a controversial press conference that he will remain in office despite the pressure.

There have been several protests since the United States backed president took power in 2017, however, this one is the longest. Dismayed by Moise’s inaction, Haitians are demanding the departure of a president under whose presidency the already impoverished country sunk down in one of the worst social, economic and political crises in the last decade.

“The Catholic Church usually holds religious processions but today it is holding a march ... for the deliverance of Haiti because we are in a disastrous situation,” said Rose Marie Bolimer, a school teacher.

Bolimer complained that schools are still closed following the summer break due to the current situation.

“The situation is becoming harder day by day, we do not have enough to eat, we have no security,” she said. “And we have a president who does absolutely nothing, on the contrary, he plans on killing us more.”

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