Haiti’s president to step down amid political turmoil

Michel Martelly

Haiti’s President Michel Martelly says he will leave office on Sunday in keeping with the provisions of the constitution as the mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) gets ready to leave the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country still optimistic that a deal could be hammered to end the political and constitutional crisis.

“I am grateful to all those who allowed me to serve. On February , I’ll leave without any regret, any envy and without any desire to remain in power,” Martelly told reporters as he attended an event to inaugurate a new government building built to replace one damaged by the January 2010 earthquake.

President of the Senate, Jocelerme Privert said “the National Assembly will take all necessary measures to fill the vacancy of the presidency”.

Earlier this week, Privert, denied several rumours that Prime Minister Evans Paul had resigned as part of a agreement that would end the crisis sparked by the decision of opposition parties to boycott the second round of balloting on January 24 to elect a successor to Martelly.

The opposition, which have been staging street protests here, have accused the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and Martelly of planning to rig the polls in favour of the government backed candidate Jovenel Moïse.

The new session of the Haitian parliament opened on Thursday and that Privert, who also served as president of the National Assembly, acknowledged the imminent presidential vacuum.

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