Michel Martelly First Year In Office Draws Criticism
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Michel Martelly was the king of Haitian music, a high-energy charmer who became president of a broken nation by promising sweeping changes in employment, education, energy, environment and the rule of law.
“Haiti is open for business,” Martelly declared as he took the oath of office on the grounds of a collapsed presidential palace, a tent city behind the iron fence serving as a visible reminder of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
A year after his May 14 inauguration, many of the tents are gone and the plaza of independence heroes is slowly beginning to look the way it did before the quake. But efforts to rebrand Haiti from a charity to investment destination have been eclipsed by self-made internal crises, controversy and corruption scandals. Further threatening stability and security is a rogue force of decommissioned military officers and prospective soldiers who are pushing for revival of the country’s disbanded army.