Haiti

Haiti elections calendar sent to Martelly

Protesters run while holding stones during a protest demanding that the government lower fuel prices, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Students marched through Haiti's capital to demand lower gas prices and the ouster of President Michel Martelly.
Protesters run while holding stones during a protest demanding that the government lower fuel prices, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Students marched through Haiti's capital to demand lower gas prices and the ouster of President Michel Martelly. AP

Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council has sent a proposed calendar for the country’s long anticipated elections to President Michel Martelly for publication in the official gazette.

The panel, responsible for overseeing the vote, is recommending that legislative elections for two thirds of the 30-member Senate and 118 members of the lower Chamber of Deputies be held on Aug. 9.

Parliamentary runoff elections are scheduled for Oct. 25, the same day as the first round of presidential and local elections. Presidential runoff elections are being proposed to take place on Dec. 27.

Council members presented the calendar Wednesday to representatives of political parties. The delayed balloting has been the source of increasing protests and turmoil in Haiti where both Martelly and the opposition have accused each other of not wanting to go to the ballot box. Protesters have demanded the ouster of Martelly.

The international community, led by the United Nations and the United States, have also been pushing for elections, which are more than three years delayed. Martelly has been ruling by decree since January when parliament was rendered non-functional after the terms of the entire lower chamber and another one third of the Senate expired.

Under Haiti’s constitution, Martelly cannot seek back-to-back five years presidential term. The definitive date for knowing who will replace him as president is listed as Jan. 17, 2016.

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