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Haiti postpones Legislative and Municipal elections

Published:Sunday | October 26, 2014 | 5:35 PM

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 26, CMC – Haiti Sunday announced the postponement of the much delayed legislative and municipal elections.



The polls were due to have taken place on Sunday but a statement from the Office of the President gave no indication when the polls would take place.



"President Michel Martelly, in his constant concern to guarantee political stability, promises to pursue consultations with the different sectors of national life in order to hold the elections as soon as possible," the statement said.



But opposition politicians called for protest action and demand Martelly's resignation.



Haitians were supposed to have gone to the polls Sunday to elect 20 senators, 102 deputies and municipal officials.



Martelly had decreed in June that there would be an election on October 26, but the National Assembly did not pass an electoral law in time because of a political impasse.



Political observers say the failure to organize elections means that the mandates of the rest of the members of the already depleted National Assembly will expire, potentially leaving Martelly to rule by decree.



The mandates of a third of the senators in the 30-strong body had already expired, leaving it struggling to find a quorum, and Martelly has imposed 120 municipal leaders on towns to replace elected councils.



In August, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a declaration calling on the three branches of government in Haiti to comply with an earlier agreement to hold legislative and municipal elections by the end of this year.



The Council said that the Haitian authorities must respect the agreement, known as El Rancho, that had been agreed to by political stakeholders in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and call the legislative and municipal elections by the end of 2014.



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