Latin America & Caribbean

Haiti power vacuum looms as leader's mandate lapses

Jocelerme Privert at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 30 May 2016 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jocelerme Privert says confidence in the electoral process has been lost

Haiti faces a power vacuum after parliament allowed the mandate of interim President Jocelerme Privert to lapse with still no solution to the country's political crisis.

A statement called on Haitians to remain calm until a solution is found.

Mr Privert was appointed in February for a six-month term.

He filled the vacancy left by former President Michel Martelly, who stepped down with no successor after the suspension of elections last year.

Haiti has been mired in political crisis since the disputed first round on 25 October.

Representatives of Haiti's main donors, which include the UN and the Organisation of American States (OAS), have called for fresh elections without delay.

Has the international community failed Haiti?

"This... marks the end of the 120-day mandate of the republic's provisional president," read a statement from the Senate deputy president and the president of the Chamber of Deputies.

The statement urged people to "remain calm until the National Assembly meets to take the necessary measures".

Last month, a special commission recommended throwing out the disputed results of last year's first-round presidential election and holding a new vote.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The political crisis has sparked sometimes violent protests in the capital Port-au-Prince

The commission said various irregularities meant last October's ballot could not be considered legitimate.

Haiti has been in political turmoil since the first round, in which Jovenel Moise came first but fell short of an overall majority.

Opposition challenger Jude Celestin accused the electoral authorities of favouring Mr Moise and threatened to pull out of the run-off.

Deadlines have since been missed for four run-off votes, on some occasions leading to violent unrest.

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