Haiti opposition calls new protests in bid to oust president

Haiti's largest opposition groups have united in a campaign to push U.S.-backed President Jovenel Moise from office with nationwide protests aimed at paralyzing the country starting on Friday.

Previous clashes between protesters and police have led to dozens of deaths and left businesses shut for days, gravely damaging an economy already struggling with high inflation and worsening fuel shortages.

Newly named Prime Minister Jean Michel Lapin said Wednesday that the government encouraged peaceful demonstrations but would not allow violence on the streets.

Opposition leaders Serge Jean Louis, Josue Merilien and Moise Jean Charles, who all head left-leaning opposition groups, said they were calling on their followers to protest until the president steps down.

"We'd rather die standing up than our knees," Jean Charles told reporters Wednesday.