Haiti Under President Martelly: Current Conditions and Congressional Concerns [December 23, 2015] [open pdf - 1MB]
"Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Since the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986, Haiti has struggled to overcome its centuries-long legacy of authoritarianism, extreme poverty, and underdevelopment. Economic and social stability improved considerably, and many analysts believed Haiti was turning a corner toward sustainable development when it was set back by a massive earthquake in January 2010 that devastated much of the capital of Port-au-Prince. Although it is recovering, poverty remains massive and deep, and economic disparity is wide: Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Throughout President Michel Martelly's five-year term, Haiti has found itself in a prolonged political crisis due to the government's failure to hold a series of elections that were long overdue. The government failed to hold elections by the end of 2012, leaving the Senate without one-third of its members. Thousands of Haitians took to the streets to protest the lack of elections. When the terms for another third of the Senate as well as the entire 99-seat Chamber of Deputies expired on January 12, the legislature was immediately dissolved, and Martelly began ruling by decree. A new Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) organized legislative elections in August, which were marred by violence, and runoff legislative, presidential, and local elections in October 2015. Some presidential candidates have led protests alleging fraud but have failed to file legal complaints. Runoff presidential elections scheduled for December 27 have been postponed while an independent commission makes recommendations. No new date has been set."
CRS Report for Congress, R42559
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html