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Haiti's President Moise Asserts Innocence in Corruption Scandal Amid Massive Protests

Jovenel Moise during his investiture ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 7, 2017. | Photo: EFE Jovenel Moise during his investiture ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 7, 2017. | Photo: EFE
PORT AU  PRINCE, HAITI,  June 14, 2019 - Embattled Haitian  President Jovenel Moise  on Wednesday denied his involvement in corruption acts and public funds mismanagement during an event on the 24th anniversary of the Haitian National Police.

"Your president, the one you voted for, is not corrupt and never will be," Moise said, making reference to a Court of Accounts report which argues that there were cases of irregular management of funds in the Petrocaribe program.

Since the publication of the report at the end of May, the Haitian president faces a strong popular pressure demanding his resignation.

However, he maintains that forces from the Haitian opposition are trying to misrepresent what his administration has really done.

"The political, economic and social system is very hard. It has the capacity to resist and reproduce itself each time we try to overthrow it. It knows how to transform victims into executioners and executioners into victims," Moise said and explained that when he ran the company Argitrans, which is mentioned in the Court of Accounts report, he was not a public employee, candidate or ruler.

"If there is any accusation against Agritrans, let justice do its job because the company is there and all the documents still exist. Meanwhile, I will not let anyone cause chaos in the country," he said.

He reiterated that the only path Haitians must take today is that of peace and development, and urged intellectuals, businessmen and politicians to come together, "because you all have a plan for the common homeland."

The Haitian president's statements come after Sunday's large anti-government protest on Sunday, which saw tens of thousands of people across the country calling for his resignation and was preceded by a general strike.

Before taking office in February 2017, Moise was in charge of Agritrans, a banana exporting company that received over US$700,000 in state funds for a road project, a charge revealed by a Senate special investigations in 2016 and 2017.

Since the summer of 2018, Haitians have held demonstrations demanding the Court of Accounts to investigate how four successive administrations spent over US$1.6 billion, which should have been used exclusively in the Petrocaribe program.

  • Countries: Haiti

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