Sweet Micky’s sour start in Haiti - Macleans.ca

Sweet Micky’s sour start in Haiti

The country’s pop star president is at a perilous stalemate with legislators

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sweet micky’s sour start

Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images

Haitian President Michel Martelly rode to power on a wave of popular sentiment last spring. But three months after his inauguration, “Sweet Micky,” as the former pop star is known, is finding government a bit tougher than showbiz.

Cabinet has reportedly not sat for three months, and, earlier this month, Haitian legislators rejected Martelly’s choice for prime minister for the second time, leaving Haiti, still struggling with the aftermath of 2010’s cataclysmic earthquake, without a functioning government. With hundreds of thousands still homeless, the United Nations is warning that political gridlock may limit the state’s ability to manage reconstruction.

Martelly, a political novice, has few allies in Haiti’s fractious political class. His first choice for prime minister, U.S.-trained businessman Daniel-Gerard Rouzier, was turned down by the lower house; the senate nixed his second, Bernard Gousse, a former justice minister implicated in a violent 2004 crackdown. It may be six months, Martelly warns, before he brings forward another candidate. If that one fails too, Sweet Micky may be back in the concert halls sooner than expected.