PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC):
HAITI'S INTERIM Prime Minister, Gerard Latortue, says he will resign from office on February 7 next year.
But Latortue said he would continue to see after the country until the inauguration of a new elected leader.
Presidential and legislative elections are set to take place on January 8 , with a run-off on February 15.
The US-backed Latortue had constantly said he would leave office on February 7, which is the constitutional deadline for the transfer of power. But the elections could not be held in time to honour that deadline.
"I will resign on February 7 and my government will refrain from taking any new action likely to bind the Haitian State," said Latortue who has recently returned from a trip in Europe and North America.
Interim authorities have set the hand-over power ceremony for February 24, 2006, but several politicians and members of the Electoral Council have called the government's decision unrealistic.
"We regret the government's decision," said Jerson Richem, the chairman of the Communications Committee for the Electoral Council organising the elections.
"Obviously, preparations for the transfer of power won't be completed in time to meet the February 24 deadline," Richem told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
Election authorities favour the beginning of March for the holding of the transfer of power.
The elections will be the first since Jean Bertrand Aristide was controversially removed from office in February last year.