Haiti elections postponed amid protests

Jan 22, 2016, 4:14 PM EST
Source: Haiti Innovation/flickr
Source: Haiti Innovation/flickr

Threat of violence, unrest loomed over presidential election scheduled to be held Sunday.

Reuters writes:

Haiti postponed a U.S.-backed presidential election that was due to be held on Sunday after the opposition candidate called for a boycott citing fraud, the impoverished country's electoral council said on Friday.

The postponement came after a failed attempt to get opposition candidate Jude Celestin to agree to a new date. There were no immediate details on when the vote might be held. An electoral council spokesman confirmed the postponement.

Around 1,000 protesters ran and sang in the Delmas district of the capital, Port-au-Prince, earlier on Friday, calling for Sunday's vote to be postponed.

ABC News reports:

The Provisional Electoral Council decided to postpone Sunday's election because there is "too much violence throughout the country," Pierre-Louis Opont, president of the body that oversees elections, said at a news conference. The capital has been rocked in recent days by opposition protests calling for a halt to the vote.

In announcing its decision, the council did not set a new date for the election. It also did not say whether an interim government would take power after Feb. 7, when President Michel Martelly is required to leave office under the Constitution, or if he would remain in his post until a replacement is elected.