Haiti has postponed its presidential election – again – amid scenes of unrest in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Anger has erupted amid claims the first round was rigged to favour the ruling party candidate.
Due to take place on Sunday, the deciding vote has now been called off by electoral authorities ‘for security reasons’.There is no word on when it will be rescheduled.
This third postponement was welcomed by opposition supporters but they remain angry.
“The country’s problem is that the government wanted to proceed with the elections but the people are against it,” said one protester who gave his name as John.
“There can’t be elections with one candidate. We do not agree with Jovenel Moise,” he said, naming the ruling party’s choice.
“The current president has done nothing. He just wants Jovenel Moise to be the next president.”
Gunshots were fired as demonstrators clashed with police.
But the postponement is nevertheless expected to ease unrest after days of protests in the deeply impoverished country, at pains to rebuild from a devastating earthquake six years ago and to emerge from decades of political dysfunction.
Several western nations, fearing a new era of instability in the Caribbean nation, have been assisting Haiti in its election preparations. The US government alone has chipped in $30 million.
For now, though, Haiti remains in political limbo.
With his five year term drawing to an close, outgoing leader Michel Martelly is constitutionally barred from standing again and opposition candidate Jude Celestin is refusing to take part in a voting process he says is riddled with fraud.