Haiti postpones election date to replace slain president

Haiti will hold presidential elections last scheduled for September on November 7, officials said Wednesday, with the assassination of president Jovenel Moise still shrouded in mystery.

A hit squad burst into the presidential residence and shot Moise dead in the early hours of July 7. His wife Martine was wounded but survived.

The provisional electoral council said polling day will include the first round of the presidential election, legislative elections that should have been held in 2019, and a constitutional referendum that Moise supported.

The referendum was twice postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the new electoral calendar, the second round of presidential and legislative elections will be on January 23, 2022 at the same time as municipal and local elections, which have also been delayed for years.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who was sworn in last month, has vowed to restore order in the country and organize the long-delayed elections sought by Haitians and the international community.

Haiti currently has no working parliament and only a handful of elected senators.

Police say they have arrested 44 people in connection with the president's killing, including 12 Haitian police officers, 18 Colombians who were allegedly part of the commando team, and two Americans of Haitian descent.

The head of Moise's security detail is among those detained.

Moise had been ruling the impoverished and disaster-plagued nation by decree, with gang violence spiking and Covid-19 spreading rapidly in recent months.


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