PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council said Friday that the country’s long-delayed presidential election will take place Nov. 20.
The vote had been set for Oct. 9, but the council postponed the balloting after Hurricane Matthew slammed Haiti last week, leaving more than 500 people dead and 175,000 displaced.
If none of the 27 candidates wins an absolute majority, the top two vote-getters will face each other in a run-off on Jan. 29, 2017, council chairman Leopold Berlanger told a press conference.
Regardless of whether a second round of voting is needed, it will be impossible to swear-in a new president by the designated date of Feb. 7, he acknowledged.
Haitians went to the polls in October 2015 to choose a new president, but those elections were voided due to irregularities.
A week after President Michel Martelly’s term officially ended in early February, Jocelerme Privert was named interim head of state pending a fresh vote.
The main contenders are Jovenel Moise, representing Martelly’s ruling party, and opposition hopeful Jude Celestin.