Haitian authorities have postponed presidential and legislative elections originally set for Sunday because of the havoc caused by Hurricane Matthew, election officials said Wednesday. The impoverished Caribbean nation’s last elections, in 2015, were canceled amid violence and massive fraud, leaving the country stranded in political limbo ever since. The president of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, Leopold Berlanger, said a new date for elections would be announced by next Wednesday at the latest, after talks between the various interested parties. The authorities must first assess the damage caused by Matthew, which struck Haiti on Tuesday as a Category Four hurricane with 230-kilometer (145-mile) an hour winds, he said.
The death toll from the storm stands at five people, but a bridge collapse cut off the area hardest hit, making the scope of the disaster still unclear.
“In the southern region, we already know that many buildings have lost their roofs and some of them were going to be voting centers,” Berlanger said. Poll workers may be among the victims or those left homeless by the hurricane, he added.