Haitian President Michel Martelly will step down Sunday, leaving the Caribbean nation immersed in one of the worst political crises in recent years—and without a president.
The move follows an agreement reached Saturday that aims to install a short-term provisional government in order to respond to the suspension of the country's presidential elections that were marred by violent protests and claims of fraud.
teleSUR’s correspondent Madelein García reported Sunday that local police announced that all the activities scheduled for the carnival celebrations have been cancelled due to the tense situation being experienced by the impoverished nation.
Por razones de seguridad fueron suspendidos los carnavales en Puerto Príncipe una de las fechas más importantes para el pueblo— Madelein Garcia (@madeleintlSUR) February 7, 2016
"For security reasons carnivals were suspended in Port-au-Prince one of the most important dates for the people."
The interim president will be elected by parliament for a term of about 120 days, however Prime Minister Evans Paul will remain in his post until lawmakers are able to confirm a prime minister by consensus in upcoming days.
Robert Fatton, a Haiti political expert at the University of Virginia told teleSUR that the real problem now will be choosing someone for leadership who can successfully contain the political crisis unfolding in the country, emphasizing that leaders made the right decision in postponing the elections for a second time until there is calm in the streets.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Organization of American States (OAS) have both sent diplomatic missions seeking to preserve peace and monitor the new electoral process. Officials say the vote will take place April 24, with a newly elected president to be installed on May 14 for a five-year term.
In the first round of the presidential elections, Martelly’s designated successor Jovenel Moise came first with 32.8 percent of the vote, ahead of the opposition's Jude Celestin who received 25.3 percent of the vote.
These results were rejected by tens of thousands of Celestin’s supporters who took to the streets for several days until they managed to halt the second round that was scheduled to take place on Sunday Jan. 24.
ANALYSIS: Meet Haiti's Presidential Candidates
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and still struggles with the legacy of the devastating 2010 earthquake, as well as Western colonialism and imperialism. This electoral process is hoped to end the political instability that has reigned in the Caribbean nation for the past three decades.