PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council will step down in a bid to help unblock a political impasse that has delayed legislative and municipal balloting, a member of the panel told AFP on Friday.
“We have submitted our resignations to President (Michel) Martelly in a letter,” Nehemy Joseph, a member of the body, told AFP.
“Our decision has been motivated by a desire to make our patriotic contribution to resolve the crisis that is so greatly affecting our country,” Joseph said.
Haiti has been mired in political crisis over its failure to hold long-delayed municipal and legislative elections.
If elections are not held before January 12, the legislature will be automatically dissolved and Martelly will be empowered to rule by decree – a move which for many Haitians hearkens back to the dictatorial regimes that ruled the country during much of its history.
Martelly, for his part, has accused opposition senators of blocking the vote on a key electoral law needed to schedule the balloting.
Dissolving the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) was one of the recommendations made by a presidential commission appointed to help end the crisis.
News of their impending election council’s imminent departure comes less than a week after Sunday’s resignation by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, who faced repeated calls to quit over the failure to hold legislative elections in the past three years.