Delayed Haiti elections to take place November 20

Areas of Jeremie, Haiti, destroyed by Hurricane Matthew are seen on October 8, 2016. The full scale of the devastation in hurricane-hit rural Haiti became clear as the death toll surged over 400, three days after Hurricane Matthew leveled huge swaths of the country's south. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL


Haiti is due to hold long-delayed presidential and legislative elections on November 20, followed by a second round on January 29, its Provisional Electoral Council said Friday.

Haitians had been due to head to the polls last week, but the vote was postponed due to the havoc caused by deadly Hurricane Matthew.

At least 473 people were killed when Matthew crashed ashore on October 4 as a monster Category 4 storm, packing winds of 145 miles (230 kilometers) per hour.

The impoverished Caribbean nation’s last elections, in 2015, were canceled amid violence and massive fraud, leaving the country stranded in political limbo ever since.

The president of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, Leopold Berlanger, had said the various interested parties would hold talks before announcing a new date.

Haiti has been immersed in a political crisis since the first round of presidential elections held on October 25, 2015, drew opposition protests.

Election authorities concluded that there had been massive fraud and canceled the election results.

Candidates are vying to replace Haiti’s last president, Michel Martelly, who left office in February without a replacement.

Parliament in the meantime elected interim president Jocelerme Privert, although his 120-day mandate technically expired in June.

Amid the political turmoil, Haitians are grappling with chronic poverty and a number of major public health issues.

The Americas’ poorest nation — home to 11 million people — has been struggling to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake that has left thousands still living in tents.

Cholera has killed more than 10,000 people and affected some 700,000 since an outbreak in 2010, with 500 new cases reported every week.