President Michel Martelly is determined to leave office on the first day of Haiti’s carnival in two weeks even though he has no replacement, the prime minister said on Monday, making it likely an interim government will guide the country to elections. Haiti was due to choose Martelly’s replacement last Sunday, but the two-man race was postponed indefinitely after opposition candidate Jude Celestin refused to participate over alleged fraud that sparked protests and violence. “It is clear that we won’t have elections before the departure of President Michel Martelly scheduled for Feb. 7,” Prime Minister Evans Paul said.
The United States’ Haiti Special Coordinator Kenneth Merten said Washington wanted to see new elections quickly and opposed a long transitional period, but acknowledged Martelly was unlikely to place the presidential sash on his successor.
“Realistically speaking,” Merten told Reuters, “We may be looking at some sort of temporary solution until there is a handover to a new elected president. Our fear is that we go into a situation that is open ended. “In our analysis that is a dangerous place to go,” Merten said.