Interim government likely, U.S. officials say

REUTERS – Haiti is likely to install an interim government to transfer power to a new president, a senior U.S. official said on Monday, after the Caribbean nation called off an election days before current President Michel Martelly is due to leave office.

The United States’ Haiti Special Coordinator Kenneth Merten said Washington wanted to see new elections quickly and opposed a long transitional period, but acknowledged elections were unlikely to be held before Martelly’s Feb. 7 departure date.

“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.”

Jovenel Moise supporters take to the streets

Pro-government supporters took the streets on Monday to demand that hat the suspended national presidential runoff election take place. Former members of the dissolved Haitian army joined forces to back Jovenel Moise’s supporters.

OAS urges for elections

AFP – The head of the Organization of American States’ poll observers in Haiti on Monday urged the country’s political camps to get behind efforts to stage an election.

Celso Amorim, the Brazilian diplomat leading the Organization of American States’ observer mission — appealed for compromise from both sides.

“The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) told us the decision to postpone was for security reasons,” he told AFP in an interview.

“But obviously, even if that wasn’t the reason given, I think an un-competitive selection with a single candidate, would have been very problematic, even if it could have been technically legitimate.”

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