Former Haitian president criticizes current leader

AP News
Posted: May 09, 2013 2:36 PM
Former Haitian president criticizes current leader

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide emerged from months of seclusion for a second straight day and took several swipes at the current government.

Aristide spoke to a small group of reporters at his home Thursday without taking questions. He thanked the thousands of supporters who cheered his motorcade on Wednesday after he gave closed-door testimony to a judge investigating the slaying of a journalist.

Then Aristide took a few jabs at President Michel Martelly, saying the government has not done enough to address hunger in the impoverished country and should not have imposed a tax on international calls and money transfers to fund education.

"It's the biggest problem in the country today," Aristide said in the office of his residence.

Aristide also mentioned Haiti's 2010 earthquake, weeping as he spoke of how he was personally affected by the disaster that killed millions of people.

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Aristide remains popular here, but was a divisive figure during his two presidential terms. He has kept a low profile since returning from exile in South Africa in 2011, showing up in public previously only for a brief television appearance a month after coming back.