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Previously, authorities had set November 7 as the date for the holding of a constitutional referendum and the first round of presidential and legislative elections.
On Monday, Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry revoked the Provisional Electoral Council (PEC), thus indefinitely postponing the presidential and legislative elections that were scheduled for the first days of November.
"The order of September 18, 2020, whereby the PEC members were appointed, is revoked," local outlet Le Moniteur reported, explaining that Henry’s decision is in line with the governance agreement signed with the political parties on September 11.
By virtue of this political pact, which was justified as a mechanism to create a peaceful and effective governance during Henry's interim period, general elections will be held no later than the end of 2022 and the newly elected officials will take office at the beginning of 2023.
All this must happen within the framework of a new Constitution, which must be drawn up within a maximum period of one year. To this end, the governance pact also establishes the creation of a national constituent assembly, which will be made up of 33 members appointed by civil society institutions. This assembly will have three months to prepare the draft constitution, which will be submitted for ratification by the Haitian people.
"Haiti, a country already ravaged by political instability, insecurity and natural disasters, is sinking deeper into crisis. The presidential and legislative elections and the constitutional referendum scheduled for next November and January have been postponed indefinitely," outlet Les Echos commented.
The nine members of the dismissed electoral council were appointed in 2020 by then-President Jovenel Moise, who was harshly criticized for trying to prolong his stay in power by postponing elections.
Before the political crisis unleashed by Moise's assassination, the PEC had set November 7 as the date for the holding of a constitutional referendum and the first round of presidential and legislative elections. The second rounds were scheduled for January 23, 2022, coinciding with the municipal and local elections.