As Haiti prepared Tuesday to bury a former dictator who had little use for elections, it seemed all but certain that a long-delayed legislative vote due later this month will again be postponed. And, on the week that former strongman Jean-Claude Duvalier’s death revived memories of Haiti under dictatorship, observers warned this could leave the country’s current leader free to rule the impoverished Caribbean nation by decree. Four years after a sudden massive earthquake devastated the Haitian capital, the streets of Port-au-Prince are again bustling with working people struggling to get by, but there is no sign of any political campaign.
President Michel Martelly decreed in June that there would be an election on October 26, but the National Assembly has yet to pass an electoral law and the provisional election commission is running out of time to organize a vote.
Polls have been delayed before — these are three years late — but if there is no vote soon the mandates of the rest of the members of the already depleted assembly will expire, creating a political vacuum.
Martelly has not formally called off the vote but it seems improbable that any credible election can now be organized.