Haiti’s parliament will be electing an interim president for a four-month term. Here’s why
Ahead of the presidential runoff elections in Haiti, President Michel Martelly has resigned from office without a successor. This comes after the election was postponed for the third time over security concerns last month. Here’s what you need to know about the events leading up to Martelly’s resignation and the plan to replace him:
Haiti is still on the road to recovery after being a huge earthquake back in 2010. A cholera epidemic led to the death of over 8,000 people and infected more than 600,000 others in the Caribbean country, shortly after.
Michel Martelly, is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election, however, in a recent speech, he stated that his biggest regret was the postponement of January’s presidential election.
The runoff vote to elect his successor was postponed due to allegations of fraud and insecurity. The Chairman of the Electoral Council, Pierre-Louis Opont, confirmed these concerns. As a result of these allegations, street protests, some of which became violent, were staged after November’s first round of elections. During a clash with ex-soldiers on Friday, protesters attacked and killed a man in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
In the meantime, Haiti’s parliament is set to elect an acting president and install a transitional government over the course of four months. But this idea is hardly welcomed by opposition supporters, especially considering the country may descend into its worst political crisis since a 2004 coup d’etat, as a result of this.
Jovenel Moise, a fruit exporter and candidate of the ruling party was leading in November’s first round of elections, with 33 percent. He also had Martelly on his side. On the other hand, the opposition candidate, Jude Celestin, intends to to boycott the vote over allegations that the authorities continue to favor Moise.
The elections will now hold on April 24, after which the new president will be sworn in on the 14th of May.
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